Pays d'Aix Basket kept their hopes of the play-offs alive with a sensational home victory over EuroLeague Women champions UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Pays made their intentions clear from tip-off and immediately surprised the Russians with 7 straight points. Ekaterinburg came back to take a 2-point lead and so the pattern of the game was set.
Aix continued to play well and forge leads, but always Ekaterinburg managed to fight back. Yolanda Griffith was the main reason for the Russians’ stubbornness. She played all 40 minutes for Ekaterinburg and was nothing short of sensational, scoring 24 points and grabbing 24 rebounds.
A 2nd quarter run from Aix was again answered by Ekaterinburg and at halftime the home team led by 3, 43:40.
In the 3rd quarter, Aix managed to further increase the lead and this time hold off the visitors. Although Ekaterinburg showed some of the form that took the all the way to last year’s title, Aix played every point like it was their last, and it was enough.
The French side hung on for the hard-earned victory and will now have 2 more games to try to make the play-offs.
Lara Mandic top scored for Aix with 20 points, while Natalie Lesdema battled Griffith inside and contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds.