Union Hainaut Basket erased a big early deficit and then survived a tense finale to defeat LOTOS PKO BP 85-82 in their Euroleague Women Group C clash on Thursday night.
The game looked to be heading for a blow-out victory as LOTOS led by more than 20 in the first half but Union came roaring back and it was the hosts who were defending a narrow lead through much of the final quarter before they sealed it at the death.
LOTOS' lead was 22, 45-23, when Michelle Maslowski nailed a three-pointer at the mid-point of the second quarter.
But a 12-0 run closed the gap to 52-39 at the half, and Union scored the first eight points of the third quarter before eventually catching their opponents when Sabrina Reghaissia's jump-shot made it 61-61 with 1:52 to go in the third.
The game was tied 71-71 with 5:54 to go and although Union would put their noses in head, the margin was never decisive and it was back at 78-76 when Ivana Matovic sank a pair of free throws with just under four minutes to go.
Kathy Wambe's lay-up and Mudju Ngoyisa's free-throw put the gap back at five, 81-76, going into the final two minutes but LOTOS were not ready to give up yet as Natallia Marchanka hit a lay-up.
Reghaissia missed with a three-pointer for Union but Alana Beard was called for a foul on the shot and Reghaissia made no mistake as she nailed all three free-throws to put Union up by six, 84-78 with 1:05 to go.
A pair of free throws from Beard then cut the gap to four. With time about to expire, Beard made a lay-up but was also assessed for a personal foul, and Clemence Beikes split a pair of free throws to ice it for Union.
Reghaissia led Union with 21 points while Wambe, Ngoyisa and Chioma Nnamaka each had 13.
Emilja Podrug led LOTOS with 19 while Matovic had 16 and Beard 14.
LOTOS made nine of 13 (69%)) from three-point range.
Fabrice Courcier, UHB coach :
"We began the game as we began in Sibenik, but we were at home and we didn't want to lose this game. Every players want to go to the eight-finals, and we had to win tonight to hope it. The public was with us, and helped us a lot. It was difficult in our heads but we did it."