US Valenciennes Olympic finally got a win on the board in EuroLeague Women Group C as they edged a tight contest against Lotos Gdynia down the stretch.
Center Nicole Ohlde (14 points and 18 rebounds) stood out for the French champions, who started and ended the game the better to snap a two-match losing streak.
Ohlde had help from France international Emilie Gomis (17 points and six assists) and forward Krissy Bade (12 points and seven rebounds), while Dominique Canty's game-high haul of 20 points for Lotos (1-2) was in vain.
Lotos duo Chamique Holdsclaw and Anne Breitreiner fouled out in the final quarter as USVO held their nerve at the free-throw line late on and a couple of three-pointers by Gomis helped USVO to an early 15-3 lead and after 6:06 played, they were up 22-9, but Lotos went on an 11-2 run to close to 24-20 by the end of the first quarter.
The hosts then upped a gear, with Canty leading the way.
The American shooting guard poured in 10 points in the second quarter and by half-time, the game had been turned on its head with Lotos 44-39 up.
The inspired Ohlde helped USVO recover, rebounding for fun as her side took a 56-52 lead into the final 10 minutes.
An 8-0 run, thanks to a pair of jumpers by Katsiaryna Snytsina and Serbian center Slobodanka Maksimovic, allowed the Poles to take the whip in hand at the start of the quarter.
But their indiscipline cost them and having used up their team fouls, they could only look on as USVO nailed their shots from the charity stripe down the stretch to earn a crucial win.
Herve Coudray (USVO Valenciennes):
"It wasn't a great match in our making, but I am taking my hat off to my competitors who worked really hard on defense in the second half."
"We realized that at all costs it was necessary to stop Chamique Holdsclaw who averaged 27 points in the two first games. Fortunately we managed to spoil these spectacular statistics for the American woman."
"After defeats in two first matches we were under pressure. We were aware that wanting to move on to the next round we could not let ourselves the suffer another defeat."
Roman Skrzeczec (Lotos PKO BP Gdynia):
"We lost this games not at the finish, but in the first minutes. Unfortunately, in this match our defence, which wss the key to the victory over Spartak, left a lot to be desired."
"There's nothing else us can do but look for points in next meetings."