|Rashad Anderson scored a season-high 31 points and BK Ventspils live to fight another day|
BK Ventspils won 97-92 in double overtime against visiting Telenet BC Oostende on Friday night to force a deciding Game 3 in the EuroChallenge Quarter-Final tie.
The Latvian club, which led 72-59 with 7:01 remaining, allowed the Belgians to battle back and had to hold their breath as Oostende's Matt Lojeski missed a jumper in the lane at the end of regulation.
Late in the first overtime, a Marcus Faison three-point play knotted the contest at 85-85 for Oostende.
After Oritseweyinmi Efejuku missed from long range, the hosts forced Oostende to commit a 24-second shot-clock violation.
That meant Ventspils had possession with four seconds remaining so they called a timeout and drew up a play to get Rashad Anderson a look, but he missed a shot from the arc and the contest went to a second overtime.
Caleb Green gave Oostende the perfect start with a three-ball but Efejuku answered with a shot from the arc for Ventspils and following a miss by Lojeski, Efejuku struck again closer to the basket for a 90-88 Ventspils advantage.
Oostende's Lojeski was fouled at the other end and made two free-throws to take his points haul to 24 and level the game again at 90-90 with 3:02 to play.
Jean-Marc Jaumin's team then went in front.
Will Thomas missed two free-throws but Ventspils didn't box out Green, who tapped in the second errant attempt for a 92-90 Oostende advantage with 2:24 left.
Efejuku had the wind in his sails, though, and it wasn't surprising that the Latvian coach Guntis Endzels wanted the ball in his hands.
Efejuku ran around a screen before catching a pass from Arturs Berzins and laid the ball up and in and drew a foul.
He made the free-throw for a 93-92 Ventspils lead.
After Green and Berzins each missed shots, Oostende were whistled for a shot-clock violation and possession went back to Ventspils with 1:06 to play.
Efejuku hit a jumper to take his tally to 22 points and both Anderson and Efejuku split free-throws at the end for a 97-92 win.
Oostende could have sealed a spot in the Final Four with the victory.
As it is, defeat means they will next Wednesday host Ventspils in a do-or-die clash for both sides.
Efejuku poured in 14 of his 23 points in the overtime sessions for Ventspils, who were led by Anderson's 31.
Anderson had 28 at the end of regulation.
Lojeski's 24 topped the Oostende scoring.
BK Ventspils Head Coach Guntis Endzels:
"Firstly, we managed to fulfil our plan - now we are returning back to Belgium. For the spectators the game was perfect, but for the coaches... Well, it played on our nerves. Despite the fact that Oostende played without their leading player Mitchell, their players caused problems for our team already at the beginning of the game. During the game we managed to deal with their game and at the end the luck was on our side."
Oostende Head Coach Jean-Marc Jaumin:
"We came to win, but the luck was on Ventspils' side. The shots dropped in the basket for Ventspils and not for us. The biggest problem was Efejuku at the end of the game, because he made important three-point shots. We tried, but we didn't succeed, but we still have the next game in front of us and this is going to be a big game."
Oostende player Matthew Lojeski:
"We had a bad beginning, especially in the first quarter, but during the game we became better. However, Ventspils had more luck today, they made all the most important shots."