|Jure Balazic and the young KRKA team finished off Dexia with a fourth-quarter spurt|
KRKA Novo Mesto continue to play excellent basketball in the EuroChallenge with Dexia Mons-Hainaut the Slovenian club's latest victims.
In the Last 16 Group J opener for both sides, KRKA faced a 42-34 deficit late in the first half but hit back for an 85-77 victory.
Dexia got 26 points from Marcus Hatten but it wasn't enough for Arik Shivek's side against KRKA, who were led by Goran Ikonic's 21.
After failing to press home the advantage late in the second quarter, Dexia had the initiative stolen away from them in a six-minute stretch of the fourth quarter.
Dexia were on top 61-60 when Ikonic knocked down a jump shot and KRKA teammate Dusan Djordjevic followed with two free-throws and a three-pointer.
Hatten sank two from the charity stripe as Dexia reduced the arrears to 67-63, but Djordjevic went from scorer to provider.
He set up Dragisa Drobnjak for a jumper and that basket sparked a 9-0 run that left KRKA in command at 76-63.
Dexia managed to twice pull to within six points, the second time at 80-74 on a lay-up by Peter van Paassen.
Zoran Dragic answered with two free-throws and Aleksandar Dzikic's side ended up winning by eight.
KRKA out-rebounded Dexia 36-27.
Hatten scored a lot of points, but he also had a season-high nine turnovers for Dexia.
Djordjevic finished with 18 points, four assists and six rebounds and Dragic also had 18 points.
Dexia will be eager to get Justin Cage back.
The big man went down with a bout of pneumonia over the winter break but it is hoped he will return soon.
KRKA Player Dušan Djordjević:
"It was very important game because we've lost last two games. Because of that our first half was not so good but in the second half we played much better. They are very good team so our win is very important."
KRKA Head Coach Aleksandar Džikić:
"Quite nice win for us. Some people were very concerned after our two back to back losses but I think they shouldn't be. Dexia missed Lewis, but that was not so good for us because Hatton and Taylor played more. We're not used to play against such teams that play so fast. But at the end we've won and that's important. I'm happy that our young player Rojc played so much and so good."
Dexia Player Marcus Hatten:
"It was very tough game. We came here to win. We looked good most of the game but at the end we made too many mistakes and that was crucial."
Dexia Head Coach Arik Shivek:
"We know Krka very well. They play very good in the NLB league. Most of the game we played really smart. But basketball is the game of mistakes. They took advantage of ours, we took advantage of theirs. Unfortunately we made them in crucial minutes of the game. Although we led in more than 70 % of the game, at the end Krka deserved that win."