Tartu University Rock saw off the determined challenge of Lappeenranta on Tuesday to finish top of the EuroCup Group A Qualifying Round.
Marek Doronin led the way with 21 points on a nine of nine shooting display inside the arc as Tartu prevailed 78-72.
|Adrian Henning led Lappeenranta with 20 points.|
Lappeenranta had nothing but pride to play for with just one victory in the group.
Their fans back in Finland will know they have a very proud outfit indeed, then, as Lappeenranta pushed Tartu to the limit.
Trailing 64-57 in the fourth quarter, the Finns launched a spirited fightback and twice tied the game in the closing stages.
Juha Sten's lay-up pulled Lappeenranta level at 69-69 with 1:07 to go, and after Gert Kullamäe drilled a three-pointer to put Tartu right back on top at 72-69, the visitors answered again.
This time, Ivan Harris stopped and popped from long range to make it 72-72.
Doronin was his side's offensive star of the game and his biggest basket probably came next, a lay-up with 28 seconds to go for a two-point edge.
Brian Cusworth followed with a big defensive play for Tartu, swatting another Sten lay-up attempt.
Tartu added a couple of more free throws, and a Doronin jumper at the death, for the six-point triumph.
Estonia international Kullamäe finished with 17 points in the victory.
Tartu dominated the boards, out-rebounding Lappeenranta 43-34.
The Finns also did their upset bid serious harm by converting just 11 of 19 at the free throw line, compared to Tartu's 11 of 14.
Adrian Henning, formerly of Austin Peay University, led the visitors with 20 points.
Mika Turunen, coach Lappeenranta:
"Our target in EuroCup was to qualify for the quarter finals, but we didn't manage to succeed. We started today's match well and wanted to win, but Tartu Rock is a more experienced side and deserved to win. We moved the ball quickly in offense, but only for the first 15 minutes. The last period belonged to Rock, who is more experienced than our young team."
Üllar Kerde, coach of Tartu Rock:
"We won the match purely on will power. The first half turned out to be a disaster, but players had enough power to keep fighting. I'm proud that our team managed to come back to win from a situation, where the opponents had already started to believe in their victory."