|Jevohn Shepherd (pictured) and Thomas Jackson had 13 points apiece for ZZ Leiden|
EWE Baskets suffered a second-half collapse to end their EuroChallenge hopes with a 76-71 loss to struggling ZZ Leiden in Group I.
BK Ventspils' dramatic overtime victory over Roanne Basket earlier in the evening left EWE Baskets in need of a win to be sure of progress, and they were on course as they led 41-33 at half-time.
But the hosts, who started the night 1-4 and alone at the foot of the group, clawed back four points in the third quarter and kept up the attack to comfortably close out the win.
They scored the first six points of the final stanza, taking the lead 58-56 on the Mohamed Kherrazi's dunk with 7:35 left.
Milan Majstorovic's three-pointer put EWE Baskets back in front, but only temporarily as Jevohn Shepherd went on a spree, with a three-pointer and a dunk in his personal 7-0 run that gave the hosts a 65-59 advantage with 3:59 to go.
The lead was 73-66 thanks to Seamus Boxley's tip-in with 26 seconds left and although Robert Brown hit a late three-pointer, there was no way back for the visitors.
Shepherd and Thomas Jackson led Leiden with 13 points, while Boxley had 10.
Brown had 26 points in the losing cause for EWE Baskets, while Ronald Burrell had 14 and Domink Bahiense de Mello added 10.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg Head Coach Predrag Krunic
"I'm very disappointed, because this was a must win game for us to beat the loser of the game at Ventspils. We controlled the game in the first half, but after that Leiden was the better team. There was a big difference with the first game, when we played good for forty minutes."
ZZ Leiden Head Coach Toon van Helfteren
"I'm very proud of my players. There was nothing to win for us anymore, but we want to win every game we play. I want them to play like they have to do at the end of the season in the playoffs. For me it was very important to be better than we were in Oldenburg."
EWE Baskets Oldenburg player Robin Smeulders
"I told my teammates before that there always is a good crowd in Leiden and that it would become a difficult game, when it stayed close. That was the case. It's very disappointing that it is over now for the European season. But ZZ Leiden played a very good game, especially in the fourth quarter."
ZZ Leiden player Arvin Slagter
"We wanted this game to win to finish the European season in a good way. Of course there was nothing to win for us anymore, but we always want to win, no matter the importance of the game. I think we closed the European season in a good way."