In a battle for 3rd place in Group A of the EuroLeague Women, 2004 champions Valenciennes scored a valuable road victory over Hungarian side MKB-Euroleasing Sopron on Thursday night.
A 17-0 run by Valenciennes over the course of the end of the second and beginning of the third quarter undermined a good start by Sopron.
|MVP of the game: Isabel Sanchez (USVO)|
Honti's three-pointer midway through the second quarter gave Sopron a 32-21 lead, but it was then that Valenciennes began to work their way back into the contest.
After their 17-0 burst, it was the visitors who had a comfortable lead and Valenciennes were up by as many as 8 points towards the end of the third quarter.
Sopron had one run left in them and 2 free throws from 2003 European Championship MVP Lucie Blahuskova saw the Hungarians regain the lead with 1 minute remaining in the third, 54-53.
There was all to play for in the final 10 minutes, and it was Valenciennes who proved the stronger side. A Slobodanka Tuvic basket with 8:09 left on the clock gave Valenciennes the lead for good and they held on for the win.
Blahuskova had 20 points and 6 rebounds for Sopron, Gordana Kovacevic and Kata Honti added 11 points apiece.
USVO's Isabel Sanchez led all players with 23 points and Lucienne Berthieu added 16, while French international Audrey Sauret went scoreless on 0/6 shooting in her second EuroLeague game this season.
Natalia Hejkova, Head Coach MKB-Euroleasing Sopron:
"We have shown two completely different halftimes. In the first 20 minutes we played very well, with a good rhythm, which we lost in the second halftime.
We became scared to win the game. We need more self-confidence."
Laurent Buffard, Head Coach US Valenciennes:
"Our last game was 10 days ago, that's why we couldn't find our rhythm in the first 20 minutes. But after the half-time we came back into the game, our defense was very good, and we were agressive in offense."
Isabel Sanchez (MVP), US Valenciennes:
"This game was important for both teams before the play-offs. Im happy that we believed in ourselves and that we can win the game."