|Abdul Aminu topped scoring for Pinar Karsiyaka with 16 points|
Pinar Karsiyaka secured top spot in Group I of the EuroChallenge Last 16 as they hung on for an 84-75 victory over BK Ventspils.
Karsiyaka built a big lead midway through the game and then hung on as a determined rally from Ventspils brought them right back in it by the end of the third period to set up a tense finish.
Karsiyaka began to take control early in the second period, with Justin Diebler scoring seven in a 13-0 run that powered them to a 38-20 lead on his three-pointer.
Akselis Vairogs and Donald Sims replied with threes for Ventspils but Umit Sonkol had also found his range from beyond the arc and hit back in kind, helping Karsiyaka build a 51-34 lead by half-time.
Abdul Aminu's lay-up stretched the advantage to 19 early in the third period but Ventspils quickly got a handle on matters and began a comeback.
The three-pointers rained in as Janis Timma, Arturs Berzins, Martins Meiers and Sandis Valters all hit from deep in a 15-2 run that cut it to 58-52 on Valters' three. Evren Buker replied with another three for Karsiyaka but Ventspils kept coming and Folarin Campbell's three-point play to start the fourth quarter cut it to 65-62.
Karsiyaka got the message and reeled off six unanswered points to make it 71-62 with 7:22 left in the contest and they held Ventspils at arm's length down the stretch.
Aminu led Karsiyaka with 16 points while Robert Dixon had 15 and Soner Senturk 13. Dibeler and William Thomas each finished with 10.
Sims led Ventspils with 16 points while Berzins had 12, and Meiers 11. Valters and Campbell added 10 each.
Karsiyaka made 12-of-22 (54.5%) from three-point range while Ventspils managed 13-of-29 (44.8%).
While Pinar move to 4-1, clear at the top of the standings, Ventspils are 2-3 with work to do.