Bourges Basket came from behind in the second half and snatched a late victory at Frisco Sika Brno on Wednesday evening in the EuroLeague Women. Trailing by nine points early in the second half, the French giants clawed their way back and made the key plays at the end of the fourth quarter to prevail, 67-62.
Cheryl Ford of Brno has overcome serious knee injuries and resume her career in Europe. She looked as good as ever in pouring in 24 points and collecting 16 rebounds for Brno.
Her performance wasn't enough to prevent the Czech club from falling to a third defeat in four Group D games.
Bourges improved to 3-1.
Brno had their biggest lead at 47-38 with 7:21 to go in the third quarter after Ford split a pair of free-throws.
Two Catherine Joens three-pointers reduced the deficit to 47-45 before Brno ended a scoring drought that had lasted 3:24 with a Ford jumper to take the lead back to four.
Another Ford shot with 1:01 to go in the third stretched the advantage back to six before Joens hit again from behind the arc to leave Bourges trailing 54-51 heading into the final period.
Ford continued to carry Brno offensively but Bourges finally took the lead with 7:52 left on a shot by Anael Lardy.
The game wasn't decided until the end.
Maja Miljkovic hit two free-throws for a 60-58 Bourges lead only for Louice Halvarsson to answer with a jumper to knot the game.
A Miljkovic lay-up put Bourges back in front with 3:23 left, though Ford reduced the arrears to 62-61 by again making the second of two free-throws.
After Stella Kaltsidou and Ford each split two at the stripe to leave Bourges clinging to a 63-62 advantage with 2:12 to play, Endene Miyem hit a jump shot for the visitors.
Halvarsson was off target with a jumper but got the rebound, only to then be called for travelling.
A Miyem lay-up with 21 seconds left took the lead to five and ended the scoring.
Joens scored all 15 of her points on five-of-eight shooting from long range.
Miyem also ended up with 15 points and led the team with six rebounds.
Greece forward Kaltsidou finished up with 13 points.
For Brno, Frida Eldebrink had 13 points and two steals, and Jelena Skerovic contributed eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
Jan Bobrovsky, head coach Brno:
"Basketball is a game of four quarters. Unfortunately we played very bad in the last ten minutes. All our big mistakes came in the second half. In that part of the game in only Cheryl Ford played well. The other players were out and shot only few points. It was too few to help us to victory. Bourges didn't surprise us. We played very good in defence against Endene Miyem and Emmeline Ndongue. But in the end Miyem shot some important points."
Pierre Vincent, head coach Bourges:
"We are happy to win; it was a very tough game for us. We knew about the quality of the Brno team, how they can score from outside; they had 65 percent in the first period. It was very difficult to defend against our rival. We had a lot of trouble inside. We played better in defence in the second part, it was better for us. We scored better and very important was keeping contact with our rival. We tried to play simple basketball in defending. But we had a lot of problems to defend the best Brno player Cheryl Ford."
Alena Hanusova, Brno player:
"The key moment of the game was in the third quarter. We lost very easy what was at the time an eight-point lead. At the end of the match we fell off the pace and did not have enough power."
Ilona Burgrová, Bourges player:
"We came into the match very poorly. We failed in shooting and we could not defend Brno. At the end of the match Brno got tired. I am very happy with this victory."