|Jelena Ivezic fueled Gospic with 12 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out|
Gospic Croatia came from behind in the fourth quarter and ruined the opening night of the EuroLeague Women for Rivas Ecopolis in Spain.
Jelena Ivezic and Sandra Mandir, leading players for Croatia this summer in Poland when they clinched a fifth-place finish at the EuroBasket Women to seal a place in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, combined for 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists as Gospic prevailed, 74-69.
Point guard Julie McBride led Gospic in scoring with 15 points.
Early in the fourth quarter, Rivas had a 56-52 lead and they were still on top 60-58 midway through the final frame.
Mandir, a member of the all-tournament team at the EuroBasket Women in Poland, drove in for a lay-up to knot the game and then Ivana Jurcevic followed with a three-point play to silence the Rivas crowd.
The 34-year-old next fed Marija Vrsaljko, the team's 22-year-old center, and she scored to extend the lead to 65-60 with 3:15 to play.
Twice Rivas closed the gap to one, with Elisa Aguilar and Asjha Jones each making a pair of free-throws.
But with 55 second to go, McBride went in for a lay-up and after Carson missed from the arc, McBride was fouled by Aguilar and sank two more from the stripe for a 71-66 lead.
Gospic ended up with a five-point win.
Jones, having just finished a tour with the United States women's national team in Europe, had 19 points while Spain international Laura Nicholls had arguably her finest-ever game in the EuroLeague with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Rivas missed all 11 of their shots from long range and Gospic weren't much better, hitting just four of 26.