|Asjha Jones propelled Rivas Ecopolis to victory over group leaders Wisla with her all-round game |
Rivas Ecopolis claimed a 71-66 victory over Wisla Can-Pack Krakow on Wednesday night to knock the Polish club out of first place in Group C of the EuroLeague Women.
Essence Carson had 19 points for the winners, with Asjha Jones adding 18 and pulling down eight boards and Anna Cruz scoring 14 points.
Laura Nicholls also impressed against Wisla with 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds as Rivas won their third straight in the competition.
The contest was tight from start to finish.
Wisla's Anke De Mondt made a lay-up to pull her side to within 57-56 with only 26 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Cruz started the scoring in the fourth quarter with a pair of free-throws and Carson followed with a jumper before recent signing Gema Garcia, who was making her EuroLeague Women bow, scored her first two points with a drive.
Wisla closed the gap to just three points on a basket by Nicole Powell, but Jones and then Carson made jump shots for Rivas to keep them in front.
The visitors got to within five points on three occasions in the last five minutes but no closer.
Powell had 19 points and nine rebounds in defeat as Wisla slumped to 9-4.
Sparta&K Moscow Region, who won earlier in the day against Cras Basket Taranto, are 10-3.
Wisla Can-Pack Head Coach José Ignacio Hernández
"I was a little concerned on how some players are logging too many minutes due to the big number of games we have to play, especially with Powell and De Mondt. We suffered a bit rebounding in the first half of the game, but then we did better playing from inside to outside. I think we competed at a good level even though the score doesn't affect us in the table."
Rivas Ecópolis Head Coach Miguel Méndez
"We didn't have the pressure of having to qualify for the next round, so we just tried to play good basketball. We did well in the first half of the game, but then Bjelica and Powell hit some shots. Wisla stepped up in the second half, but we were able to set our rhythm again late in the game to secure the win."
Wisla Can-Pack player Anke De Mondt
"We were a bit soft at the beginning of the game, as Rivas were battling a lot for rebounds. Then in the second half we performed way better, but Rivas did also a good work. They have a complete team, well-balanced, and maybe they or Wisla can be among the surprises as the competitions advances."
Rivas Ecópolis player Laura Nicholls
"It's been a long and hard game, Wisla is one of those teams that never give up on games. But we saw ourselves pretty good, playing tough in the decisive part of the game. Maybe the pressure was not the expected one for this last game at home in the first round of this competition."