Jones, Foxes advance to EuroLeague quarterfinals

Bahamian Jonquel Jones and her Russian club, the UMMC Ekaterinburg Foxes, remained unbeaten, advancing to the quarterfinals of the EuroLeague Women after taking care of Italy’s Beretta Familia Schio with a 74-58 victory at the Palasport Livi o Romare in Schio, Italy, on Wednesday afternoon.

Jones finished with eight points and seven boards in 18 minutes of play. The center shot 4-for-5 from the field to finish the game at an 80 percent clip. Her only missed shot came from beyond the three-point arc. Jones dished out one assist and had two steals. Her seven boards were tied for a game-high with her teammate Courtney Vandersloot.

The Foxes, the two-time defending champions, now have a perfect 4-0 win/loss record in Group C play as they sit atop the table with eight points. They are now the second team in the competition to make it to the quarterfinals. Hungary’s Sopron Basket, which plays in Group D, was the first team to advance to the quarterfinals, sitting with a perfect 5-0 record.

Second in Group C is Spain’s Spar Girona with a 3-1 record and seven points. Schio is third with a 1-3 record and five points. Sitting at the bottom of the table in fourth place is Latvia’s TTT Riga, which is looking for its first win after four games.

Jones got on the scoreboard early in the game when she made a jump shot to put her team up 5-0 with 8:52 remaining in the first quarter. Those two points were a part of a 16-0 scoring run that the Foxes used to open the game. Vandersloot connected on a jump shot with 5:53 remaining in the first quarter to end the run. This run set the trend for the rest of the game. The Foxes played good defense that led to easy offense the rest of the way.

Schio got on the scoreboard when Jillian Harmon scored a jumper with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter. The period ended with the Foxes taking a commanding 22-10 lead. Jones scored four points in that quarter.

It was a competitive game in the second quarter, but Jones and the Foxes still kept the game at a double-digit distance for the duration of the second quarter as they outscored Schio 16-13 in that stanza to take a 38-23 lead heading into the half.

The third quarter was the most competitive as Schio opened on a 9-0 run to cut the Foxes’ lead down to just six points at 38-32 with 7:53 remaining in the third. Jones connected on a jump shot to end Schio’s run and put her team up 40-32. That basket came on a Vandersloot assist with 7:36 remaining in the third quarter.

The Foxes took the lead back up to double digits but Schio went on a run again, and Sandrine Gruda hit a shot to cut the lead down to just four points, 46-42, with 4:30 left in the third period. The Foxes used a crucial scoring run to increase the lead and ended the period up 54-45. Schio outscored the Foxes in that quarter, 22-16. 

With the Foxes regaining full control of the game at the end of the third quarter, Jones was done, sitting down for the rest of the game. The Foxes outscored Schio in the fourth quarter 20-13 to win the game.

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) 2020 Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Breanna Stewart led all scorers with 16 points for the Foxes. Alba Torrens had 10 assists to lead the Foxes in that department.

Jones and her squad finished with a 39-28 rebounding advantage. They also shot the ball better from the field, shooting 50 percent compared to Schio’s 40.3 percent.

Schio never led in the game. There were no lead changes or ties and the Foxes led by as much as 18 points.

The Foxes have two more group games remaining as they continue their quest for a third straight title. They will play today when they take on Girona at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Their final group game will be tomorrow against Riga at 11 a.m. EST. Both games will be at the Palasport Livi o Romare in Schio and will be streamed live on FIBA’s YouTube page.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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