Overseas notes and highlights

Overseas Update - March 24, 2009

Nolanís squad No. 1: Deanna Nolanís Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg secured the top seed and a 16-2 record heading into the Russian Superleague A Playoffs by defeating No. 9 Spartak SP, 81-62. Nolan contributed four points in 23 minutes off the bench. The quarterfinals of the Superleague A Playoffs are slated for March 23, with UMMC playing host to Dynamo Moscow.

Nolan had six points, seven rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes for UMMC Ekaterinburg, which crushed Dynamo Moscow in the quarterfinal contest, 85-37. UMMC Ekaterinburg plays again on Thursday.

Shields shines: Guard Ashley Shields - who recently signed a training-camp contract with the Shock after joining the team in midseason last summer - had a game-high 20 points with eight rebounds and five assists for Duda Leszno in a quarterfinal loss in the Polish League playoffs.

Sanni still solid: Despite her teamís 10-11 record, center Olayinka Sanni has been steady for her French squad, Cote d'Opale Basket Calais, averaging 13.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 26.7 minutes per game. In her last outing Sanni posted 15 points, six rebounds and three assists in a 63-73 loss to third-ranked ESB Villeneuve.

Taj triumphant: Much like her midseason arrival to the Shock last summer, Taj McWilliams-Franklin has turned things around for her Italian squad, Familia Schio, since joining them after the New Year. McWilliams-Franklin had eight points and eight rebounds in their most recent victory, 77-55, over San Giovanni. With Taj averaging 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in eight games, Schio continues to climb up the Italian League standings with a 17-5 record.