VICI Aistes put themselves back in the hunt for a place in the knockout round of the EuroLeague Women with a 80-77 upset of Group C leaders Halcon Avenida in Kaunas.
Just as they did in their opening game against Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje, VICI Aistes stunned a title contender with a victory over the Salamanca team.
VICI Aistes are now 2-5 with games coming up against Galatasaray, ZVVZ USK Prague and Tarbes.
Avenida (5-2) had a chance to send the game to overtime at the end but Alba Torrens missed from long range.
VICI Aistes out-rebounded Avenida 45-42 and drilled three-pointer after three-pointer.
They finished a scintillating 15 of 30 from behind the arc with Marina Solopova four of five and Courtnay Pilypaitis four of eight.
Pilypaitis played for Canada at the FIBA World Championship for Women. She finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.
It was a three-pointer that put them in front for good, and it came from Rima Valentiene with 2:48 to go to make it 76-74.
The next trip down the floor and Milda Sauliute drove in for a lay-up and a four-point lead.
Avenida would end up closing to 80-77 with 34 seconds to go on a lay-up by Marta Xargay.
Coming out of a timeout, VICI Aistes ran 20 seconds off the shot clock before Giedre Paugaite had her jumper swatted by Sancho Lyttle.
That set the stage for Avenida's Torrens to launch a shot from behind the three-point line but she was off target as VICI Aistes held on.
Torrens led Avenida with 21 points and finished three of eight from long range while Lyttle had 15 points and 10 boards.
The workhorse for Mantas Sernius' side was Vita Kuktiene, who had 17 points and nine rebounds.
Lucas Mondelo, Halcon Avenida coach:
"I want to congratulate the home team for their victory; they showed a lot of desire and played to the limit. We came off cold because of their hard defense. When we got our inside-outside game going on, we gave them trouble. We had bad luck in the last couple of possessions and they made us pay by making a couple of three pointers. All the team is to blame for today's attitude. One positive thing is that the team was able to come back despite the bad start. One thing we didn't do properly is we allowed them 17 offensive rebounds. It is impossible to win a game when the opponent has so many offensive rebounds."
Silvia Dominguez, Halcon Avenida player:
"VICI Aistes played hard defense; they were more intense than us. Courtnay Pilypaitis and Marina Solopova played a huge game and they were scoring three pointers with ease. It was hard for us to defend them. We managed to come back from 15 points down, but now we must go only for victories in the future."
Mantas Sernius, VICI Aistes coach:
"Before the game we had two goals - to stop their transition game and limit the points they score in the paint. We did not manage to stop their fast breaks, but we did limit their points in the paint. That was the key to our victory. We are sorry for Ausra Bimbaite, because it looks like she got a serious injury. Courtnay Pilypaitis is progressing very fast and today she was an important part of our victory."
Vita Kuktiene, VICI Aistes player:
"We wanted to win so badly, especially after five losses in a row. We needed this win to keep our hopes alive to qualify to the next round. We hit a lot of three pointers and that is something we lacked before."