|France international Johanne Gomis played the entire game in Russia and came up with a brilliant performance to lead Arras to the EuroCup Women Finals|
France international Johanne Gomis buried a jump shot in the waning seconds at Chevakata on Thursday to earn Arras a place in the EuroCup Women Finals.
Leading by a point on aggregate after last week's first leg, Arras ended up with a 67-67 tie in the second encounter thanks to the late Gomis basket and will now play for a European trophy.
Gomis had a strong game, playing all 40 minutes and scoring 18 points while also leading her side defensively with eight steals.
Pauline Akonga had 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for Arras, who will face the winner of Elitzur Ramla's tie with Sony Athinaikos.
Ramla won the first leg in Israel last week by 15 points and will play the second against the defending champions in Greece on Thursday night.
Chevakata will know they lost this tie when blowing a 21-point lead in the first leg in France.
Their collapse allowed Arras to come back and post a 67-66 win and travel to Russia with confidence.
The French team seemed to take a firm grip on the contest when two Gomis three-pointers stretched their lead to 57-47 with 6:38 remaining on Thursday.
Maria Cherepanova and Elena Danilochkina replied with shots from the arc for Chevakata, however, and Jessica Davenport, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the hosts, added two free-throws to reduce the deficit to two.
After Arras stretched their lead back to six, Davenport put Chevakata on her shoulders.
She drew a foul from Akonga and made two free-throws and then, after two missed shots at the stripe for Leilani Mitchell of Arras, knocked down a jumper.
Fouled on the play, she sank the free-throw to reduce the deficit to 61-60 with 1:39 to play.
A pair of Sarah Michel free-throws pushed the lead back to three, only for Chevakata to knot the game at 63-63 with an Elena Volkova three-ball.
The Arras hopes began to fade as Cherepanova made three of four free-throws for a 66-63 Chevakata advantage.
Gomis missed from the arc and Chevakata rebounded but after Krissy Bade fouled Volkova, the Russian missed both free-throws.
Davenport grabbed the offensive rebound but Gomis reached in and came up with one of her steals before scoring on a fast break to reduce the arrears to 66-65.
Loree Moore made one of two free-throws for Chevakata, but Gomis hit the game-tying bucket at the end as Arras tied the game and won the Semi-Final by a single point on aggregate.
Arras Head Coach Bruno Blier:
"I can't find the words to describe what I'm feeling now. I am very happy. It was the most difficult game for my team. And I am very thankful to the opponent for such a match, a real Eurocup fight."
BC Chevakata Head Coach Olga Shuneykina:
"For the first time in this competition we faced a well-organized and hard defence. Arras is a very worthy opponent. Today any team could win. Unfortunately, that very point that we lost in France didn't make it possible for us to celebrate the victory."