Tarbes took a potential jump towards the Quarter-Finals of EuroCup Women after grinding out a priceless 55-54 road win in the first leg of their Eighth-Final match-up with Dynamo Moscow.
What made the result all the more impressive, was that they managed it despite a near stone cold and pretty rare under performance from leading scorer Paoline Salagnac who was 1 of 9 from the field.
|Aliaksandra Tarasava and VS Prague came very near in surprising defending champions Kursk|
But, the offensive shortcomings of Salagnac were typical of a game where neither team could find any kind of offensive rhythm whatsoever. So much so, Kristi Toliver was the only player to scrape into double-digits for the hosts with 11 points.
The main difference in the game was that Dynamo Moscow continued to throw the ball away, committing 24 turnovers, whilst Tarbes found the one big performance of the night via Angelica Robinson who had 17 points and nine rebounds.
There was also high drama and a road win for another French club, after Hainaut shrugged off a disastrous 21-6 start in Minsk, to emerge with a precious 60-58 victory against Horizont.
Still trailing 36-23 at the interval and struggling offensively, Hainaut threw a defensive blanket over their rivals when they emerged for the second half, turning the tables on their hosts to hold them to just 11 points in both the third and final quarter.
The contest was decided by a buzzer-beating basket from Amanda Jackson although Laura Garcia and Stefanie Murphy did the damage for Hainaut with a combined 37 points. Kristina Alikina had 14 points and eight rebounds for the home side.
There was another close run in Slovakia as MBK Ruzomberok came close to seeing off Dynamo-GUVD. But, the visiting team escaped with a hard-fought 60-57 success to take back home to Novosibirsk.
Recently signed Slovak Republic national team player Klaudia Lukacovicova made an instant impression despite the defeat by contributing 14 points. The superior three-point shooting Dynamo-GUVD just gave them an edge as Natalia Potemina and Yvonne Turner both corralled 14 points.
The trend of games being decided in the clutch was indeed a commonly exciting thread, as VS Prague almost created the biggest upset of the night but just failed to topple defending champions and tournament co-favourites Dynamo Kursk.
The Czech club produced an excellent showing and were tied with 90 seconds of the game still to play, but the Russian side just got it done in crunch time to sneak a 66-63 success.
Aliaksandra Tarasava and Marshae Dotson were on song for VS Prague, sharing 35 points and the latter adding nine rebounds. Epiphanny Prince and Michelle Snow joined forces to rack up 43 points for the winning team.
Adana Botas gave themselves a lifeline to cling on to after a strong finish brought them back from the dead at home to Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration. They suffered a 69-62 home-court reverse, but things could have been much worse since during a dreadful 25-7 third quarter, they were lying on the canvas and down by as many as 16 points.
Courtney Paris just continues producing absolutely sensational double-double performances for Adana Botas, this time coming up with 23 points and 16 rebounds although she did spoil her line by missing five of six free-throws. Edwige Lawson stood out for BLMA with an efficient 14 points.
Nantes Reze look to have one foot already in the quarter-finals after they completed a 77-59 blowout at Olimpia Grodno.
A 23-9 fourth period by the French visitors looks like it may have taken not only the game, but also maybe the tie away from the Belarus club.
Viktoria Mircheva led Nantes with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Meanwhile Nadzeya Drozd had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists in defeat.
Finally, Antakya will also be confident of reaching the last eight of the tournament after completing a somewhat surprise 79-61 home rout of Chevakata.
A red-hot 25-10 first quarter got them underway, but this electric first-leg performance was powered by the prolific Jolene Anderson who amassed 30 points and an almost perfect shooting night from Czech national team star Jana Vesela, who had a super 19 points from six of seven floor shooting.