Thursday, December 14, 2017

UMMC Yekaterinburg captures third place in the EuroLeague

UMMC Yekaterinburg defeated Fenerbahce by a score of 75-68 to come in third in the EuroLeague on the strength of a double-double by Candace Parker.

Parker finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals to carry the team over the turnover prone Fenerbahce squad who was missing star Penny Taylor. Fenerbahce had 23 turnovers and Ivana Matovic, one of its top players, fouled out in just nine minutes, FIBAEurope.com reports.

Sandrine Gruda contributed 18 points for UMMC and was the top scorer. Deanna Nolan added 13 points for the winners and only missed one shot during the game.

The teams remained close for the entire game with multiple lead changes in what was one of the closest contests in the Final Eight championship. Yekaterinburg led by eight at halftime but Fenerbahce was able to cut it to one point by the end of the third. The teams traded baskets in the fourth until Parker scored consecutive baskets to boost the lead in the final 90 seconds.

Parker had multiple reasons to celebrate as she was also named as one of 11 players to represent the United States in the Olympic Games in London.

"It's always a huge honor whenever you get to represent your country," Parker, according to FIBA.com. "The last four years I've been injured and obviously, I had (my daughter). Our team is going for a fifth gold medal. It's always a huge honor to represent your country."