Carolo three-point frenzy, Stewart high point and Praha giving UMMC a bloody nose headline talking points
MUNICH (Germany) – Week 11 was arguably the most eventful of the the EuroLeague Women Regular Season so far with several teams shooting the lights out and the champions getting cut down.
Here are the main talking points – according to our women's specialist Paul Nilsen, aka @Basketmedia365
Dream night from downtown
Can I remember a more deadly shooting night from downtown in this competition? Not really. While I recall Nadezhda draining 15 triples last season in a game, they certainly didn't make 15 of 22. It was an insane first half as Carolo Basket shot the absolute lights out. They racked up a massive 55 points which was stunning in itself, but even more so when you consider their opponents TTT Riga were in great form and Carolo themselves struggling in the tournament – having hit a low at Hatay the previous week. Kaleena Lewis didn't play in that game and back on the floor, she returned with a jaw-dropping 7 triples from 7 attempts. Just staggering shooting. To put her accomplishment perspective, no player had even made 5 of 5 from beyond the arc this season – let alone 7 of 7. Meanwhile Hailey Peters was superb as well, amassing 22 points in a flash during the first half.
Season high for Stewart
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We knew she would bring her world-class talent to the table during her belated debut season and in a tense but absorbing game at Fenerbahce, Stewart ensured Dynamo Kursk got the win and became the only club left with a flawless record. She did it by amassing 33 points and that was not only a high point for her, it was also the most points any player has managed in a game this season – indeed more than any other player managed in the 2017-18 campaign as well. It also indicated that as we think about heading down the season stretch, can we accurately judge what gear Stewart is in? My suspicion is that she has at least one gear change upwards to come. Or in American parlance, ready to go into overdrive.
Praha deliver surprise punch to UMMC
Yes, I know, Alba Torrens was not playing for UMMC. But with respect, neither was Valeriane Ayayi of Praha and more pertinently, UMMC must deal with an absence no matter who it is. Injury or foul trouble could happen in any game between now and when the coveted silverware was dished out. In reality, losing their unbeaten record equated to little more than a bloody nose - a loss of pride. It was hardly a fatal blow. Anyway, let's focus on Praha. They had not won in 2019, were facing a fourth straight loss, but smartly re-enforced with Isabelle Harrison prior to the encounter and really did play positively in this one. With Alyssa Thomas back to her brilliant best and just one assist away from a stellar triple-double and with a super cameo from Teja Oblak who also had 9 assists, Praha surprised everyone. Confidence restored, can they be dangerous again and find that stunning form from the first seven or eight weeks of the season?
Loyd lifts the gloom at Avenida
The belated debut of Jewell Loyd underlined exactly what Perfumerias Avenida were missing for much of this season - a dynamic scorer. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 winner and reigning WNBA champion showed the level of quality the Spanish side have captured with her debut 19 points at Sopron. It was a big difference-maker in another terrific and dramatic EuroLeague Women game. It prevented a fourth loss in a row and it now feels like Avenida fans can enjoy going to games again with Loyd ready to sprinkle the star dust. It was also a victorious return for Miguel Ortega in his first game back at the helm and congratulations are due.