Bourges warmed up for their FIBA EuroLeague Women play-off clash with Tarbes by beating their arch-rivals 73-68 in the French women's league at the weekend.
The European showdown tips off on Tuesday but that was the last thing on the minds of coach Pierre Vincent of Bourges and his opposite number Pascal Pisan at the Tarbes Gespe Bigorre stadium.
Tarbes won the first and the last quarters but they fell foul of the visitors in the middle two 10-minute periods.
|Laia Palau had 16 points for Bourges|
The home side led 23-11 after the first quarter but allowed Bourges to close to within one at half-time.
Bourges carried the momentum in the third quarter, outscoring Tarbes 20-11 to grab a stranglehold on the game.
Tarbes battled hard in the final quarter but they could not haul in their opponents' big overall lead.
The victory has kept Bourges level with US Sportive Valenciennes Olympic at the top in the Championnat, with both teams boasting 15-1 records.
Belgrade-born center Nina Bjedov of Bourges was eight of 17 from the field and had a a game-high 18 points.
Dynamic Spain international point guard Laia Palau played her part, hitting 16 points, including three from three attempts outside the perimeter. Tarbes are fourth in the table with a 9-7 mark.
Center Katryna Gaither and Bulgarian team-mate Polina Tzekova-Boyer each had 15 points in the defeat.