|Courdon Higgins carried Triumph Lyubertsy to victory over fellow EuroChallenge club Tsmoki Minsk with a 34-point haul|
Triumph, the only team that still remains undefeated in the EuroChallenge, are now tied at 4-4 with Minsk and Krasnye Krylia in Group B of the VTB Regular Season.
Minsk got off to a better start at the weekend and led their hosts 41-33 at the half-time interval, riding the hot hand of Keith Benson early on.
But Triumph came back from the locker room looking like a different team with much more focus on defence and claimed the lead, 57-55, by the end of the third quarter.
Minsk were struggling on offence, scoring just three points in the first half of the final frame while at the other end of the floor Higgins was nothing short of unstoppable, drilling 8-of-13 shots from the floor, including three-of-three three-pointers, and grabbing six rebounds to go with his game-high 34 points.
"After the break the game turned around 180 degrees," said Minsk head coach Donaldas Kairys afterwards.
"I warned my team that Triumph would want to get back in the game and would play more physically and that's what happened.
"Triumph got more aggressive on defence and didn't even give us a look at the basket, [they] were better than us today and Cory Higgins played a perfect game."
|Demetris Nichols rose to the challenge for Krasnye Krylia following injuries to key players, scoring 28 points in victory|
The reigning EuroChallenge champions Krasnye Krylia Samara in the meantime, had to overcome several throwbacks in order to edge out Azovmash 79-76 at home on Saturday.
Center Artem Zabelin was unavailable to coach Sergey Bazarevich due to injury while Julian Wright and Aaron Miles were in the squad but did not step on the court, as they were also battling fitness problems.
Despite the absences the Samara side held a comfy 10-point cushion at the half-time break, but had to hold back a sustained assault by their Ukrainian guests in the second half to secure the victory.
Small forward Demetris Nichols rose to the circumstances and reached a personal season-high of 28 points, adding seven rebounds and four assists to lead the way for Samara.
EUROCHALLENGE TEAMS IN NATIONAL/REGIONAL LEAGUES AT THE WEEKEND
ABA Adriatic League:
Szolnoki Olaj reached a famous win over reigning ABA League champions Partizan Belgrade, 76-71 at home; Willie Warren paved the way for Szolonoki with 20 points and seven assists, while Peter Lorant and David Vojvoda chipped in with 15 points apiece.
Krka Novo Mesto meanwhile lost 84-77 to Radnicki on the road, despite an all-round display of 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists by Jaka Klobucar.
Baltic Basketball League:
|Timo Eichfuss led Tartu Rock to victory in the Baltic Basketball League with 18 points|
Belgian Ethias League:
Port of Antwerp Giants entered the final frame with an eight-point lead but gave up 31 points on defence in the clutch and lost 87-78 at Telenet BC Oostende; Maxime De Zeeuw finished with a game-high 25 points and added three rebounds and Barry Stewart had 21 points and four rebounds in losing efforts.
Okapi Aalstar also lost on the road, 68-62 at Liege, despite the fact Da'Sean Butler led all scorers with 21 points and Lee Cummard collected a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
|Team TEHO Sport Kotka's Joonas Lehtoranta continued his strong start to the season with another 16 points on the weekend|
Latvian Aldaris LBL:
Ventspils suffered their first loss in the competition as they fell 62-61 to VEF Riga at home. Ronalds Zakis was the only player to score in double digits for the hosts and finished with 14 points and six rebounds in defeat.
Royal Halı Gaziantep paid for a poor third quarter by suffering a 67-59 defeat to Anadolu Efes at home, as Dejan Borovnjak was the only player to finish in double digits for the hosts, with 16 points.