|Renee Montgomery had 18 points as Nadezhda held on in a tense finish|
Nadezhda Orenburg held on in a tense finish, 73-69, to top Uniqa Euroleasing Sopron in Group B of the EuroLeague Women.
Bouncing back from a narrow loss to Municipal Targoviste last time out, Nadezhda had to dig deep in a close finale, winning the game from the free-throw line.
Sopron had enjoyed the better start and led 28-21 late in the second half when Hanna Zavecz split a pair of free throws.
But that would be their high water mark as Nadezhda got back on level terms early in the third quarter, Natalia Zhedik's jump-shot tying it at 37, before they established a narrow but stubborn lead that they held to the finish.
But it was rarely comfortable, with the advantage never greater than the seven-point cushion they had when Katerina Keyru's three-pointer made it 49-42 with 94 seconds left in the third period. Sopron quickly came back from that with an 8-2 charge that made it a one-point game on Shenise Johnson's jump-shot early in the fourth.
Nadezhda just could not shake them off and the lead was 62-61 with a minute left after two free throws from Johnson.
Renee Montgomery hit a three to give the hosts breathing room and the lead hit six after she added two more free throws.
But Johnson replied with a three 29 ticks from time, and it then became a battle from the free-throw line.
Two from Montgomery made it 71-66 with 16 seconds left before Jelena Milovanovic hit a big three nine seconds from time.
They got a quick foul, but Dewanna Bonner sank both free throws and time ran out on Sopron.
Montgomery and Bonner led Nadezhda with 18 points each while Zhedik and Zane Tamane collected 12 apiece.
Milavonovic had 30 for Sopron with Johnson collecting 26 but there was not enough support from the rest of the line-up.
Nadezhda coach Alexander Vasin
"Having won two games in the Russian Premier League easily scoring more than 40 points, Nadezhda players didn't relax, but today not everything was successful. Bad free throws in the first half of the game let us down. And of course today we have got too many turnovers - just after them Sopron scored 20 points. Fortunately in the end of the game we got more careful about free throws, which helped us to win."
Nadezhda player Zane Tamane
"We knew that this game was going to be hard. I have met Sopron before and I know that this team always fights until the last minute. I am very happy that we managed to win during the last seconds. And I want to wish good luck to Sopron in future games."
Sopron head coach Norbert Székely
"We played really well but couldn't always be active making rebounds. Congratulations to Nadezhda, players and coaches and fans on this deserved victory. I hope our team will win in EuroLeague. We have many young players on our team. I hope that in the future they will turn into such strong players, like the Nadezhda players are."
Sopron player Jelena Milovanovic
"My congratulations to Nadezhda on such a nice game. I am really sad that we lost the game but we will work hard to have good results in future. We needed a longer bench - there are many young players who lack playing experience for such games."