MIZO-Pecsi VSK won their third game at home this season supported by 4,200 fans after a breath-taking thriller against last season's Euroleague runner-up U.S. Valenciennes Olympic (80:72).
It was Valenciennes who started the game as the better side in a fast-paced 1st quarter. The French champions jumped out to a 2:10 lead behind baskets from Allison Feaster and Ann Wauters. Pecs responded, but Valenciennes finished the quarter ahead, 21:30.
Pecs slowly began to chip away at the lead in the 2nd quarter. Allison Tranquilli and Dalma Ivanyi played solid defense and Chantelle Anderson provided the offensive touch. They tied the game at 32:32, prompting a Valenciennes timeout. The break seemed to have the desired effect for Valencinennes, and they finished the half up, 38:43.
Just as Valenciennes had dominated the 1st quarter, Pecs dominated the 3rd. Anderson was unstoppable on the offensive end and Ivanyi put the defensive clamps on Valenciennes star Feaster. With the 4,200 fans in the arena serving as their "sixth man", Pecs took the lead for the first time in the game, 58:53 at the end of the quarter.
While Pecs had the lead, Valenciennes were far from down and out, and a basket from Wauters with 6 minutes to go, put the French up 60:61. Instead of faltering, Pecs showed their resolve and their depth. Svitlana Boiko scored her only basket of the night, and Pecs were able to regain the lead, which they built to 7-points.
Valenciennes were forced to foul the home team to try to save the game. Ivanyi and Tranquilli made their free throws and Pecs celebrated the victory, which gives them the top position in Group B. Valenciennes fall to 4th.
Ivanyi scored 16 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 5 assists. She also had 5 steals and harried Feaster into 5/14 shooting. She was named MVP. Anderson top scored for Pecs with 22 points.
Wauters was Valenciennes' top performer with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
Game-MVP: Dalma Ivanyi
"After the draw in the summer we were thinking that we can finish with only 5 victories in this very difficult group. But after six games we already have the 5 victories and that’s great. Today we played the most difficult game and I think Valenciennes were victims of their own rhythm. It was a great ambiance in the gym and I want to thank all of our supporters for their help."
Dalma Ivanyi, MIZO-Pecsi VSK:
"It's a very important win for us. We started the game missing concentration, but in the second half we controlled the situation."
Laurent Buffard, Head Coach, U.S. Valenciennes:
"It's impossible to win away games when you receive 80 points. We played bad in the third quarter and this decided the game. The great pluses for Pecs were their two players Anderson and - probably the best point-guard in Europe - Ivanyi."
Allison Feaster, U.S. Valenciennes:
"I played well in the first half, but in the second half I was a little bit tired. Also the defense of Pecs was much better in the second 20 minutes and we couldn’t continue to play our game."