TTT Riga won for the first time in four EuroLeague Women games by edging Gambrinus Sika Brno 69-67 in a Wednesday night thriller.
Gambrinus' Slovakia international Zuzana Zirkova hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 67-67 with 21 seconds remaining.
|Essence Tiffany Carson had 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists for TTT Riga|
Gambrinus called timeout and got the ball into the hands of Czech national team point guard Hana Horakova (formerly Machova), but she missed a lay-up as time expired.
The Brno team, which upset CSKA Moscow last week, fell to 2-2 with the defeat.
Belarus international Tatya Troina made four of five shots from behind the arc and finished with a game-high 24 points for Riga.
Troina also had seven rebounds and five assists.
Carson weighed in with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Latvia international Ieva Kublina had 10 rebounds to go with her 11 points.
Riga overcame 21 turnovers - five by Troina - to prevail.
Eva Viteckova made all four of her three-pointers and had 14 points to lead Gambrinus.
The game was knotted at 50-50 with 26 seconds remaining in the third quarter when Kublina hit a jump shot inside the arc to put TTT Riga in front.
They scored the first eight points in the fourth quarter, the last two on free throws by Troina, to seemingly take command at 60-50.
But nothing has come easy for TTT Riga this season in Europe so it was no surprise that Gambrinus made them sweat out the victory.
After Troina connected from long range to make it 67-61 with 38 seconds left, Gambrinus showed why they can never be counted out as Viteckova and Zirkova each hit three-pointers in the space of six seconds.
After Viteckova buried hers, Horakova stole the ball from Troina and passed to Zirkova who tied the game with her long ball.
But Riga kept their cool and won with Carson's late bucket.
Riga dominated the boards, out-rebounding Gambrinus 47-33.
Horakova finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and a game-high three steals.
Ainars Cukste (TTT Riga head coach):
"We were expecting a very tough game and indeed it was. We played much better today, especially in defense and we are very happy that we managed to win this game."
Ieva Kubliņa (TTT Riga center):
"I'm very happy about our victory. Finally we won a game after three losses in a row. We can play. We can even play better than today. We missed too many open shots, made some mistakes, there is still room for improvement. We hate to lose. We tried to prove for ourselves and our fans - yes, we can."
Vlastimil Havlik (Gambrinus assistant coach):
"We didn't play well. We coudn't stop three players of TTT Rīga - Troina, Carson and Kublina. They scored a lot of points and didn't allow us to take initiative. In the final minute, we were lucky to score two three pointers but it wasn't enough to win. In fact, we lost our two last games by two points. Against CSKA we showed our best performance of this season. Liene Jansone was sick and she stayed four days in a bed, so she was not in her best shape."
Liene Jansone (Gambrinus forward):
"This game was not in "Gambrinus" style. We didn't score in offense and TTT Riga was ready to win this match. It was possible to see from the first second - they will not give up. After our first loss to Venezia, our routine was more intense. This team - Gambrinus - played in the Final Four this spring, you know. Against CSKA we were on the right track, today it was the opposite."