|Keith Benson dominated the boards for Tsmoki Minsk, good for 26 points and 8 rebounds|
Keith Benson's free-throws at the death clinched an 84-82 victory for Tsmoki Minsk at BC Mures for their third win in Group H of the EuroChallenge on Wednesday night.
In a game that saw the lead change hands 12 times and scores tied on another 11 occasions, neither side was able to get a lead bigger than six points.
Mures opened a quick lead at the start of the game, which increased to six points at 14-8 after two points by Ivan Ivanovic.
However, Minsk responded immediately and took the lead themselves for the first time after 11 minutes when Benson completed a three-point play after being fouled on a lay-up.
That would not break the hosts' spirit and nothing separated the teams when they went into the locker-rooms with the scores tied, 40-40.
Nothing changed in the third frame, but when Parrish Petty drained a three-pointer early in the final quarter, it looked like the Belarussian side might have an edge over their opponents.
Mures battled back though and regained a slim lead, which they were able to extend to five points when Goran Martinic made two of his game high 27 points to make it 77-72 with three minutes to play.
Tsmoki would not go away and had the game tied once more at 82 apiece with only 40 ticks left on the clock after a big three by Branko Mirkovic.
On the other side, Demonte Harper blocked Ivanovic and Teodor Jucan was off target with his lay-up attempt.
Ivanovic could only stop Benson with a foul and the Minsk center calmly sank his free-throws for a team-high 26 points to go with his eight rebounds.
Tsmoki Minsk head coach Donaldas Kayris
"We appreciate the way coach Sekulovic's team played, they gave us two hard games. Because we have a longer bench we put pressure from the start, but they kept making shots even in the end. It was a tough job, a team effort."
BC Mures head coach Srecko Sekulovic
"I am satisfied because we played hard against a very good team who play in the VTB league. I am sorry because we could have done better but we have had injured players all the time. In the end we missed two shots, they mad two and that was it."
Minsk center Keith Benson Jr.
"We knew they were a good shooting team so we wanted to pass the ball inside and the point guards did a good job at this."
Mures player Teodor Jucan
"We came after a hard road game and it took it's toll on us. They beat us the same way we managed to win in Minsk. Unfortunately we were dominated on the boards where we felt the absence of Paltinisanu."