Beretta-Famila Schio ended the perfect EuroLeague Women campaign of Wisla Can-Pack Krakow with a 92-88 victory in Italy.
Granted a late entry to the competition following the withdrawal of the now defunct CSKA Moscow, Wisla won their first eight games in Group B but fell short on Thursday night in their second meeting with Sandro Orlando's team.
The Schio team enjoyed a 37-26 advantage with 6:59 remaining in the first half, with 15 points by Ewelina Kobryn keeping Wisla within striking distance.
Jose Hernandez's team stormed back and with two Iziane baskets in the final minute of the second quarter, they took a 49-43 advantage to half-time.
A Kobryn jumper extended the Wisla lead to 55-46 not long after the restart and it appeared the Poles were going to take their ninth triumph.
Schio had other ideas.
They began to chip away and went back in front in the last minute of the third quarter on two free-throws by Marlous Nieuwveen.
Marta Fernandez then split a pair at the line for Wisla to knot the score at 68-68 with 10 minutes to go.
The game remained close the rest of the way, although Schio got their noses in front to stay with 4:23 to play when a jumper by Marissa Coleman made it 78-75.
|Laura Macchi sealed the win over unbeaten Wisla|
Wisla kept it close and had a chance to pull level in the last minute after Audret Sauret-Gillespie's jump shot was off target.
The visitors did not keep Schio's superstar Laura Macchi off the glass, however.
She grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled by Iziane.
Macchi went to the line and made both attempts for an 88-84 lead.
In fact, Macchi went to the line four more times to make free throws and protect Schio's lead.
She finished with 24 points and Nicole Antibes poured in 21 for Schio, who improved to 7-2.
Wisla's Kobryn led all scorers with 27 points while Fernandez contributed 22.
While Macchi was just one of eight from long range, she made all 13 of her free-throws.
Sandro Orlando, Beretta Famila Schio Coach:
"I'm very happy, we played a great game against a great team. Who loves basketball tonight saw a great performance. Now we are sure to have the home court advantage in the eight-finals but next week we want to go to Salmanca to win. This is the win of the group because we wanted this result and worked hard for it."
Laura Macchi, Beretta Famila Schio Player:
"We wanted this win and we worked really hard during the week to prepare at best the game. We knew that we can defete Krakow and we did it. Now it's important to not be self confident and try to go far in the competition."
Jose Hernandez, Wisla Can Pack Krakow Coach:
"A great offensive game for both teams. We did too mistakes in the crucial moment so we lost the game. We regret the first defeat, but if we think that we hadn't to take part to the competition at the beginning we are really satisfied."