Brian Cusworth and Janar Talts each scored 20 points as surprising Tartu Rock won 102-94 at Lappeenranta in Finland on Monday to take complete command of Group A in the EuroCup Qualifying Round.
Entering the game with back-to-back victories over PAOK and CSK-VVS Samara, the Estonians were full of confidence and that was evident in the first quarter when they matched the Finnish outfit blow-for-blow.
They took the lead for good when George Tsintsadze connected from long range for a 15-13 Tartu advantage.
They would go on to lead by as many as 11 points in the first half, but Lappeenranta kept the game close and twice closed the gap to just one.
A three-ball by Tuukka Kulha trimmed the deficit to 47-46 with 31 seconds remaining in the first half, but Estonia international Tanel Tein replied with a shot from behind the arc seven seconds before half-time to extend the Tartu lead back to 50-46.
Tein then picked up his seventh assist of the evening when he passed to Talts, who buried a three-ball for the first points of the second half to extend the lead to 53-46.
When Talts made a pair of free throws and Cusworth dunked with 7:18 to go in the third period, the lead was 59-48 for the visitors.
There was no way back for Lappeenranta.
A Cusworth jumper off another Tein assist - he finished with 11 on the night - gave the Estonians their biggest advantage at 82-65 early in the fourth quarter and they cruised to victory.
Cusworth, who played college basketball at Harvard, also had 10 rebounds while Talts pulled down nine.
Tartu shot 64.7% (22 of 34) inside the arc, and 11 of 24 (45.8%) beyond it. They out-rebounded the Finns 40-32.
Ullar Kerde, coach Tartu Rock:
"I was a little a bit afraid of this game. I watched their last game yesterday and I realized that they are a very good shooting team. And they showed it. It was only the fourth time in this season that somebody scored over 90 points against us. So we had problems in defense. I would say our experienced players Tein and Kullamäe knew how to win these kind of games and they handed this victory to us."
Mika Turunen, coach Lappeenranta:
"Gongratulations to Tartu. They did a good job, and our defense didn't work at all. They found a shooter to hit our weak side too often. In the first half their big men slammed the ball after every penetration and a small pass. And in the end they found their shooters. With a zone press we came a little bit back to the game, but it wasn't enough. We were too soft in defense."
Brian Cushworth, player Tartu Rock:
"We knew that Lappeenranta is a great shooting team. They run very well with the ball, and they are always ready to shoot. We did a good job with their shooters, but they still made 94 points. That's too much. But I'm very happy that we have three victories and now we just need to concentrate to the next game."
Petri Virtanen, player Lappeenranta:
"If somebody had told me before the game that we'd score 94 points, I would say that it is enough to victory. But our defense was terrible. Basically our screen-defense was the worst part of our game. Tartu has a very good team, and now when they have beaten every team in this group, I would say they are the best team in this group."