Phoenix Mercury Offseason Overseas Update: Week 8

Kesley Bone | Center #3 | Liaoning Hengye (China)

Kelsey Bone and Liaoning Hengye played six games over the past two weeks, finishing at .500 with a 3-3 records in those games. Bone averaged 24.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in those six games, including a massive 36-point, 21-rebound performance on December 27. The Mercury center followed up that routine with a 40-point, nine-rebound game just two days later. Bone shot over 60-percent in both of those two games, knocking down 16 of her 23 shots (69.6-percent) in the January 27th contest and finishing 17-of-27 (63-percent) from the floor on the 29th. Her 36-point, 21-rebound performance was her seventh double-double in the last eight games, ninth in the last 12 games and 16th in Liaoning’s 30 games this season in the Chinese League. Bone is the only player in China who ranks in the top 10 in points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game this season, as the Texas A&M grad is fifth in scoring (26.3 ppg), seventh in rebounding (11.5 rpg) and eighth in assists (3.4 apg).

Upcoming Games This Week: January 7: Liaoning Hengye vs. Sichuan; January 10; Liaoning Hengye vs. Sichuan

Candice Dupree | Forward #4 | ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic)

Candice Dupree made her 2016-17 overseas debut on January 4 with USK Praha, joining Mercury teammates Sonja Petrovic and Marta Xargay. Dupree saw 24 minutes of action, while getting the start at the forward spot. Dupree helped Praha snapped its two-game losing streak in the EuroLeague with a 74-73 win over Famila Schio. The Mercury forward finished with six points, on three-of-five shooting, and six rebounds.

Upcoming Games This Week: January 7: ZBL League, USK Praha at Nymburk; January 11; EuroLeague, USK Praha vs. Uni Gyor, Free live stream available at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA at 11 a.m. Phoenix time.

Brittney Griner | Center #42 | UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)

Having not played since December 14, Brittney Griner posted one of her best performances overseas this season, finishing with a double-double on January 5 against CCC Polkowice. Playing against Mercury teammate Isabelle Harrison, Griner scored a game-high 21 points, finished with a team-high 11 rebounds and had four blocks in the 77-64 win. The win moved UMMC Ekaterinburg to 6-1 in EuroLeague play. With the four blocks, Griner now leads the EuroLeague in total blocks (17) and blocks per game (2.4) through seven games thus far.

Upcoming Games This Week: January 8: Russian League, UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Spartak Noginsk; December January 12; EuroLeague, UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Avendia, Free live stream available at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA at 7 a.m. Phoenix time.

Alex Harden | Guard #15 | Hapoel Zichron Maagan Michael (Israel)

While many of the European teams had a break for the holidays, Alex Harden and her Israeli team, Hapoel Zichron Maagan Michael, did not. The team has played four games since December 22, losing all four of the contests. Despite the 0-4 record in those games, Harden has continued to impress overseas, posting an 18-point, eight-rebound performance on December 26 and a 19-point, nine-rebound and six-assists outing on January 5. Through nine games, Harden leads her team in points per game (16.6), rebounds per game (8.3), assists per game (4.6), steals per game (3.1) and minutes per game (37:50).

Upcoming Games This Week: January 9: Hapoel Zichron Maagan Michael vs. Hapoel Rishon Le-Zion

Isabelle Harrison | Center #20 | CCC Polkowice (Poland)

Isabelle Harrison and CCC Polkowice went 1-1 in their last two games, coming away with a 90-86 win on December 21 in Polish League play before falling to Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and UMMC Ekaterinburg, 64-77, in EuroLeague play on January 5. Harrison saw minimal action in both games, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds in 12 minutes of action on December 21. The Mercury center saw the court for only seven minutes against Ekaterinburg, grabbing three rebounds and scoring two points on one-of-four shooting. Despite the low minutes, Harrison ranks third on the team in scoring per game in EuroLeague play (8.7 ppg).

Upcoming Games This Week: January 7: Polish League, CCC Polkowice at JAS FBG; January 11: EuroLeague, CCC Polkowice at Uniqa Sopron, Free live stream available at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA at 10 a.m. Phoenix time.

Sonja Petrovic | Forward #5 | ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic)

After two and a half weeks off, Sonja Petrovic and USK Praha snapped a two-game losing streak in EuroLeague play, knocking off Famila Schio, 74-73, on January 4. Petrovic shot 58.3-percent (seven-of-12) from the field, knocked down two of her five three-point attempts and converted on seven of her eight free throws en route to a game-high 23 points. The Olympic bronze medalist also grabbed four rebounds and had two steals. Petrovic currently ranks second in the EuroLeague in scoring at 20 points per game, trailing only Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi, while also ranking seventh in the league in rebounds per game (8.9). She is currently on pace to become the only player in the EuroLeague to average at least 13 points and seven rebounds in each of the last four EuroLeague seasons (four players had averaged 13 points and seven rebounds in each of the last three EuroLeague seasons).

Upcoming Games This Week: January 7: ZBL League, USK Praha at Nymburk; January 11; EuroLeague, USK Praha vs. Uni Gyor, Free live stream available at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA at 11 a.m. Phoenix time.

Diana Taurasi | Guard #32 | UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)

Diana Taurasi continued to do Diana Taurasi things in UMMC Ekaterinburg’s 77-64 win over CCC Polkowice on January 5. The greatest women’s basketball player of all time scored 20 points and dished three assists in the win. Taurasi converted on six of her seven free throw attempts and knocked down four three-pointers. The four-time Olympic gold medalist ranks first in the EuroLeague in points per game (22.0) and free throw percentage (95-percent), and is second in total three-pointers made with 17, despite only play in four EuroLeague games (leader with 20 made three-pointers has played seven games).

Upcoming Games This Week: January 8: Russian League, UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Spartak Noginsk; December January 12; EuroLeague, UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Avendia, Free live stream available at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA at 7 a.m. Phoenix time.

Marta Xargay | Guard #10 | ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic)

Also playing for the first time in two and a half weeks with USK Praha was Mercury guard Marta Xargay. Xargay finished with 11 points and dished four assists in the 74-73 win over Famila Schio on January 4. In 15 games overseas with Praha this season (both EuroLeague and ZBL League), the Olympic silver medalist with Spain is averaging 11.7 points, 3.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Upcoming Games This Week: January 7: ZBL League, USK Praha at Nymburk; January 11; EuroLeague, USK Praha vs. Uni Gyor, Free live stream available at https://www.youtube.com/FIBA at 11 a.m. Phoenix time.