MiZo Pécs 2010 beat visiting Gambrinus Sika Brno 58-55 on Friday to force a deciding third game in their EuroLeague Women Eighth-Finals series.
Graziane Jesús Coelho had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Dalma Ivanyi scored nine, handed out eight assists and grabbed five boards for MiZo.
László Rátgéber's Hungarian team led 34-23 with 32 seconds left in the first half, but Gambrinus went on a 10-0 run bridging the second and third quarters to trail by just one.
|Zsófia Fegyverneky had 14 points for MiZo Pécs 2010|
Instead of pressing home the advantage, MiZo allowed Gambrinus, the winners of the EuroLeague two years ago, to go on another 10-0 run for a 48-45 lead.
With 3:43 to go in the game, Coelho made a lay-up for a 52-51 MiZo lead and they stayed in front the rest of the way but had to survive a nervous finish.
Tamika Whitmore, a vital part of Spartak Moscow Region's title-winning side last year, made a jump shot for Gambrinus with 1:17 to go to trim the deficit to 56-55.
When MiZo missed on their next trip down the floor and Gambrinus rebounded, they had a chance to go back in front but Whitmore turned the ball over.
Gambrinus then allowed MiZo to twice grab offensive rebounds which led to a pair of Zsófia Fegyverneky free throws for a 58-55 advantage.
The Czech team needed a three to force overtime, but weren't able to get off an attempt and in the end, Whitmore put up a shot inside the arc and missed as time expired.
László RÁTGÉBER (MiZo Pécs Head Coach):
"This was one of those games where you exceed all expectations. The players of Brno are taller, quicker and stronger - our win is due to our 5000 fans and our strong desire to win."
Vlastimil HAVLIK (Gambrinus Brno):
"Both teams were very nervous. At the beginning Pécs played efficiently and we could not find an answer to their man to man defense. In the second half we performed quite well and we could have won this very tight game."
Dalma IVÁNYI (MiZo Pécs):
"It is a wonderful experience and the result of playing with a lot of heart. On Wednesday it will be war."
Tímea BÉRES (Gambrinus Brno):
"It was a great atmosphere and a very tight game - the same can be expected on Wednesday."