Ukraine set up a potentially dramatic final day of action in EuroBasket Women Qualifying Round Group D after they handed Slovak Republic a third straight loss with an exciting 80-78 win in Kiev to move neck and neck with their rivals.
With Germany also sat on a 2-3 record, it promises to be an exciting climax after Ukraine secured successive victories to potentially turnaround their horrific start to the campaign.
However it could have been so very different for the home team had Slovak Republic executed on the last possession and they rode their luck as firstly Luisa Michulkova missed a three which would have won the game and then Lucia Kupcikova failed in her attempt to force overtime.
While both teams had their respective runs during the game, neither could find one of any consequence that was enough to truly break the game open.
In fact, it was a really tight first half, Ukraine sneaked into a 14-10 lead but by the time Michulkova converted a lay-up with two minutes to go until the midway point of the game, it remained deadlock at 30-30.
The home team managed to get their noses in front at 38-34 as the teams left the floor for a break and seven minutes into the second half, it was tied back up again at 50-50.
Once more Ukraine looked the team more likely to post the decisive run that would see them home but they could only lead 55-52 going into the last quarter.
At 75-71 inside the last two minutes they looked to be ready to ease away but a free throw by Erin Lawless and a three-pointer by Michulkova meant it was only a one-point game with 90 seconds to play.
Once again Ukraine made it a two shot game with a score to go to 79-75 but again Slovak Republic drained another outside score, this time by Ivana Jalkova with 22 seconds left.
Arina Markotenko then made a free-throw and missed her second as Slovak Republic suddenly sensed blood but failed to show the killer instinct.
Nataliia Isachenko had 19 point and 5 rebounds for Ukraine while Lawless was the top scorer in the game with 20 points for Slovak Republic.
"It feels good to win this game, which was close and intense. The fans have inspired us tonight and I have to thank them for the support. The win in Germany was crucial for us. It gave us the energy and the faith in ourselves."
Iryna Shipakina, Ukraine Head Coach:
"We did not have any alternatives but to win this game to keep the chances of qualifying to EuroBasket Woman directly. The fact that we had the players that were able to put the ball in the net when it was so badly needed - either at the end of the period or as the shot clock was expiring - proved crucial in tonight's game. It feels great right now.
"We knew our opponents had good shooters and we prepared our defense to stop them, but I can't say it worked."
Pokey Chatman, Slovak Republic Head Coach:
This game has shown that there are a lot of things we need to correct and we will do that during the practice before our last game on Sunday. Germany beat us, they are a very good team, very physical. There's gonna be a lot at stake, everybody's trying to win so they can advance.