Azerbaijan avoided a third successive defeat to get their EuroBasket qualifying campaign back on track with a comfortable 95-77 home success against winless Luxembourg in Group B.
Bouncing back from losses to Germany and Sweden, the victory was achieved thanks mainly to a stellar display by Orhan Haciyeva who finished the contest with a magnificent double-double of 25 points and 21 rebounds.
Struggling Luxembourg competed impressively during the opening exchanges, managing to stop the hosts from streaking away at 16-13 after a bright first quarter.
But, they eventually began to get worn down inside and Azerbaijan grabbed 28 points inside the paint during the first half, meaning the visitors found themselves trailing by double-digits at 46-36.
Luxembourg were still clinging on heading into the locker rooms, due to a terrific three of four triples from Raul Birenbaum who continued to give his team hope heading into the second half.
However, as hard as they tried, Luxembourg couldn't make up the difference, having briefly narrowed to within just five points and consequently Azerbaijan were happy to take a welcome boost in their quest to make it to Slovenia next summer.
Aleksandr Rindin was ruthlessly efficient for the winning team on his way to 18 points, managing to achieve his tally from eight of nine floor shooting while Jaycee Carrol also matched the feat of Haciyeva with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Azerbaijan head coach Elkhan Aliyev
"This was a very important game for Azerbaijan. I feel that the team needs to work hard to stay motivated because they had a comfortable win in the first game with Luxembourg. I am not happy with how we won, but I am happy with the results. We will need to be more focused in our next game with Bulgaria."
Luxembourg head coach Frank Baum
"I have spent three years with this group of players and I'm happy with their commitment to each other and the programme. I think that the players could have been more patient with their shots especially down the stretch. Overall I felt like the team played well on the road and gave a very good effort. They could be proud knowing they gave their all against Azerbaijan's seasoned professionals."
Azerbaijan guard Jaycee Carroll
"I know the game would have a different dynamic playing without Chuck Davis. The team played well doing a great job of rebounding - led by Haciyeva , Basak, and myself. I felt that I started slow and took a while to settle down, but in the meantime Pashayev was moving the ball well, finding Rindin under and around the basket several times. I would like to make note that it was not a pretty win but everyone kept pushing, playing hard and in the end getting a nice victory!"
Luxembourg center Martin Rajniak
"I know the team had played hard and well at times, only to then watch their hard work slip away with bad decisions, not smart play. The players taking quick shots instead of working the ball for a better shot. I hope we will continue to focus and concentrate on more consistent play in our remaining games."