|Celine Dumerc took control for Bourges in their EuroLeague Women victory over Rivas Ecopolis|
Trademark defence and a devastating first-half run provided the foundation for Bourges Basket to take a convincing 60-49 win against Rivas Ecopolis in EuroLeague Women Group A.
With the exception of the opening minutes, Rivas was under-par in a big way offensively and struggled against the swarming and hard-nosed Bourges defence which set up the victory and resulted in a first taste of defeat this season for the Spanish side.
Just as effective and important was the way Bourges also controlled the boards, hammering their opponent on the glass with Stephany Skrba doing most of the dirty work in pulling down 10 precious rebounds.
The period either side of the first and second quarter break was a real nightmare for Miguel Mendez and his team who having tied the game at 12-12 with a Vega Gimeno triple, were then outscored 23-2 during a disastrous spell which effectively cost them the game.
With Bourges in the driving seat and the expert hand of Celine Dumerc on the wheel, the result was almost assured before half-time had even arrived.
Rivas tried to turn the tables by holding Bourges to just six points in the third period, but since they could only muster 11 points themselves, it wasn't enough.
Aneika Henry claimed 14 rebounds for Rivas but lacked support from her team-mates whilst Dumerc had 19 points and five assists for Bourges.
Bourges head coach Valerie Garnie
"We started the game very well with very good defence and attack during the first two periods, but it's important to maintain this level of defence and it was more difficult at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third quarter."
"We maintained a good level during all the game even if we had some dificulties due to the good defence of Madrid. As explained by the coach of Madrid, it's easier when Celine [Dumerc] plays her best play but I was happy to have all the players at 100% . As coach it allows me to change the players and to control the game. This game is a reference for us and we will build on it."
Bourges player Pauline Krawczy
"It was a pleasure to play this game, everybody plays very well and the team was very strong. Now we will continue to work in order to play all our games like this one. Personally, I'm happy to perform well today and to help my team.
Rivas head coach Miguel Martinez Mendez
"It was a dificult game, when we fail to make shots and when we don't control the leadership of Celine [Dumerc], it's impossible to win the game. We used to score 82 points per game, so scoring only 49 points in this game, I can not be happy. But it's always a pleasure to play in Bourges in this cathedral of basketball"