Dominant UMMC retain crown after sweeping aside rivals
SOPRON (Hungary) - UMMC Ekaterinburg have been crowned EuroLeague Women champions for a fifth time after a rampant 91-67 triumph in the title game against Dynamo Kursk.
Turning point: While the departure of Breanna Stewart shortly before the interval with an injury probably extinguished the prospects of Dynamo Kursk, much of the damage had already been inflicted by UMMC. Their opponents were better from the tip to buzzer and were already up by 16 points before Kursk lost the Regular Season MVP.
Stats don't lie: You are not going to lose many Finals shooting almost 61 percent from the floor - it was an excellent effort from UMMC.
Game heroes: It was a two-horse race for MVP between Brittney Griner and Courtney Vandersloot. The former got the nod in the voting after collecting 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. She was also unstoppable in the early stages when UMMC laid the foundations for their victory. Vandersloot was also immense and headed in the direction of a near triple-double with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Bottom Line: The holders did not read the script. Everyone was adamant this would be a tight contest and go down to the wire. However, their first 15 minutes were a different level as they took control and built that commanding double-digit lead. UMMC were too deep and on the day, too good - coached brilliantly again by Miguel Mendez. Dynamo Kursk had most of their eggs in the Breanna Stewart basket as you might expect, so once she left the court, any realistic hopes they had went with her. The supporting cast fell short and it was a tough night for Lucas Mondelo and his team.
What They Said:
"We started the game playing too soft. Even losing by 12 when Stewart got injured, we thought that we were still in the game. But mentally, we gave up when she got injured. It was at the worse moment in the worst game for us. I would like to congratulate Ekat as they did a good job." Dynamo Kursk playcaller, Lucas Mondelo.
"I want to thank all of my players. I am a lucky man to have the opportunity to coach this team. We will try to be here again next season as well." UMMC playcaller, Miguel Mendez