Rivas Stun Sparta&K In Nail Biter


Rivas Ecopolis avoided slipping to a third successive defeat in the EuroLeague Women with a terrific fourth quarter display against Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje on Wednesday.

Asjha Jones had 25 points and Spanish national team duo Elisa Aguilar and Laura Nicholls also came up big in a 75-73 win.

Aguilar finished with 16 points and Nicholls added 13 points, 11 boards and two blocked shots.

Trailing 58-51 after a jump shot by Seimone Augustus of Sparta&K, Laura Nicholls scored for Rivas to close the gap to 58-53 at the end of the third quarter.

Jones then began the fourth with a jumper to take her points haul to 14 and make it a three-point game.

Sparta&K seemed to reclaim control when moving back up by eight. Becky Hammon's jumper stretched the lead to 67-59 with 6:06 to go.

Rivas refused to go away.

Down 69-63, Jones buried a jumper and after Candice Dupree was called for an offensive foul - her fifth of the game - Hammon put Aguilar on the line and she sank both attempts to cut the deficit to 69-67.

Jones then knotted the contest game at 69-69 when nailing a fast-break jumper and that forced visiting coach Pokey Chatman to call a timeout.

The game hung in the balance until the very end.

Clara Bermejo Moreno's jumper with 29 seconds to play gave Rivas the lead, but Augustus - recently named the MVP of the WNBA Finals after leading Minnesota to their first title - answered with a basket to tie the contest again.

Rivas and Jones had the final say.

With just three seconds to play, Essence Carson fed Jones and her lay-up put the hosts on top, 75-73.

Jones was fouled on the play and went to the line but missed the shot.

It didn't matter because the Madrid club held on for a vital win.

Bermejo and Anna Cruz each had four steals for Rivas.



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