However they then imploded offensively and their trademark defence disappeared as they allowed Nadezhda to finish the period with a 12-0 run.
When the Russian side then took the lead early in the fourth, it looked ominous for Bourges and the momentum was very much with Nadezhda.
However the hosts regained their composure and began getting to the hoop again and wrestled the initiative back from their opponents.
Having trailed 62-61 they exploded offensively and scored 21 points in the last six minutes to break Nadezhda and claim an excellent win.
Nadezhda were always going to find it tough going after being handed a tough schedule during the first few weeks and they will know that last season Good Angels Kosice still made it to the quarter-finals after opening up with three losses.
They can also take heart from the performances of EuroLeague Women rookie Tina Charles who posted a second double-double in three games with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Pierre Vincent, Bourges coach:
"This game was a difficult one due to the complexity of all the information coming from the game at the same time, which demands a lot of concentration by the team. The difference was that we used strategy while the Russian team used their ability in the shooting department.
Anaël Lardy, Bourges player:
"The lesson learnt from this match is to concentrate more on the defensive drives to not let the opposite team come back when our team holds an advantage."