Phard Napoli got off the mark in EuroLeague Women Group A at the fourth time of asking as a gallant second-half revival helped them to an 80-73 victory over ESB Lille Metropole on Thursday.
The Italians looked dead and buried when they went in at half-time 46-33 down but, aided by strong showings from point guard Mariangela Cirone (20 points) and forward Adia Barnes (15 points and seven rebounds), they recovered to take the spoils.
|Mariangela Cirone had 20 points for Phard Napoli|
The hosts, who now have a 1-3 record, were 18 of 18 from the charity stripe while Lille were also 100% (11/11) in that department.
The French side had 14 points from Serbian forward Ljubica Drljaca but they succumbed to join Phard on a 1-3 record.
After an even start, an 8-0 run at the beginning of the second quarter put ESB - beaten 99-48 by CSKA Moscow last time out - 29-22 ahead.
With 2:45 left in the half, the Frenchwomen had stretched the lead to 42-31 and they drained the final four points of the second quarter to take a 46-33 cushion into the locker room.
Phard did not know they were beaten, though, and they reduced the gap to five points (56-51) by the start of the final 10 minutes.
By halfway through the final quarter, the crowd knew they had a game on their hands when the Italians closed to 63-61 behind with just over five minutes left on the clock.
Kedra Holland-Corn poured in a three-pointer then a pair of free throws to put Phard in the lead at 72-71.
Barnes nailed a jumper to give her side a three-point lead (76-73), and then added the coup de grace with a pair of free throws as the clock ran down to seal the victory.