|26 February 2013|
|Jermaine Flowers was clinical for Joensuun Kataja, scoring a game-high 26 points|
Joensuun Kataja snuck into the quarter-finals of the EuroChallenge with an 87-79 victory over Pinar Karsiyaka.
Kataja, perhaps getting group leaders Karsiyaka at the right time with the visitors' qualification already assured, needed victory combined with a Gaz Metan Medias victory over BK Ventspils and all the chips fell their way.
They did the hard work themselves, though, slowly building a lead that reached as many as 19 early in the second half.
They made their first break midway through the opening quarter with a 9-0 run that turned a deficit into a 19-11 lead, and Johnell Smith's lay-up saw them end the opening 10 minutes with a 27-19 advantage.
It moved into double figures early in the second quarter and big threes from Jermaine Flowers and Petri Virtanen pushed them to a 37-23 advantage.
Virtanen hit more big shots late in the first half to make it 52-34 and it was the Finn again from deep to make it 61-42 midway through the third period.
Karsiyaka took offence to that and quickly reeled off nine straight, Robert Dixon's three making it 61-51, but they could not get the deficit into single figures as Kataja eased away once more.
When Vesa Makalainen made it 85-69 with 4:35 it should have been all over, but Karsiyaka provided a late scare with a 10-1 run to close to 86-79 with 61 seconds left.
They might have got closer but for a Dixon turnover which afforded Antti Kanervo the opportunity to pad the lead from the line before Evren Buker missed a late three.
Flowers poured in 26 points for Kataja while Virtanen had 19, Daniel Coleman 17 and Smith 11.
Dixon had 18 points for Karsiyaka while William Thomas added 14, Buker and Abdul Aminu 11 each and Soner Senturk 10.