|Whit Holcomb Faye's fourth quarter explosion, aided by Worthy De Jong, switched the balance in ZZ Leiden's encounter with the Bakken Bears|
ZZ Leiden have kept their EuroChallenge aspirations alive, coming from behind to defeat Group G rivals Bakken Bears 81-79.
With their backs against the wall, the Dutch club showed tenaciousness that would have impressed coach Toon Van Helfteren.
Trailing by as much as seven midway through the third frame, ZZ Leiden retained their belief and when Kasper Avernik hit the final points of the quarter from downtown, the guests were back in the game, trailing 63-59.
An Andreas Jakobsen three put the hosts back up by seven early in the final frame but Worthy De Jong and Whit Holcomb Faye just as quickly silenced the home fans, combining for all points on a 13-0 run to give the guests a lead they would retain down the home straight.
De Jong ended with a team-high 18 points, complimenting his scoring with six assists and seven rebounds. Holcomb Faye had 16 and Sean Cunningham provided 15.
For the losing team Thomas Laerke produced 19 points.
Bakken Bears player Nicolai Iversen
"We were leading by six, but made some crucial turnovers at the end of the game. At the same time [Worthy] De Jong punished our mistakes. Leiden is a great team but we had our chances."
Bakken Bears head coach Ville Tuominen
"We had a very bad stretch where we went from being up by six to being down by six. I'm pleased we fought our way back into the game, but obviously disappointed that we aren't leaving with a win tonight. Their guards were amazing."
ZZ Leiden player Whit Holcomb Faye
"We played our best in the fourth quarter. Bakken is a tough team to play, because they really speed up the game, and that was a big challenge for us again today."
ZZ Leiden head coach Toon van Helfteren
"We knew that we were entering a very tough game. I believe the game changer tonight was our fourth quarter - and [Worthy] De Jong. He was great today making some very important steals midway through the fourth quarter."