|Sandra Mandir was sensational for Gospic CO once more, pulling down a career-high 13 rebounds to go with her 16 points|
Gospic Croatia have struggled against most teams in the EuroLeague Women this season but not Rivas Ecopolis.
Riding a five-game winning streak after opening the campaign with two defeats, Rivas fell 67-52 at Gospic on Wednesday.
The result has left Rivas (5-3) in the thick of the play-off hunt while giving Gospic renewed hope that they can progress to the next round from Group C.
Stipe Bralic's side led from start to finish to improve to 3-5.
The squad's two Croatia national team stalwarts Sandra Mandir and Jelena Ivezic did much of the damage against Rivas, pouring in 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Guard Mandir also corralled a career-high 13 rebounds.
Julie McBride and Marija Vrsaljko had 13 points apiece for the winners.
The telling blows came in the first half.
With Rivas down 17-13, Ivezic connected from long range for the last points of the first quarter to give Gospic a seven-point advantage.
After Anna Cruz and Jelena Dubljevic scored in succession to cut the gap to 20-19, Vrsaljko hit back-to-back jumpers and Eva Komplet added two free-throws to push the advantage back to seven points.
Gospic then ended the first half with a flourish.
McBride hit a three-pointer and Mandir a jumper before McBride split a pair of free-throws for a 38-25 lead.
The lead twice hit 19 points in the third quarter for the home side and Rivas never posed a serious threat over the last 10 minutes.
Veteran center Asjha Jones led all scorers with 19 points but it wasn't enough for Rivas, who were out-rebounded 44-35.
Rivas also missed all 10 of their shots from long range while the Croatians hit 12 of 30.
Mandir and McBride each had four three-balls.
Miguel Martinez Mendez (Rivas Ecopolis, Head Coach):
"Gospic CO was better and they won. From the very beginning, we didn't play our best. We tried, but just couldn't. Their defense was much better and so was their offense. We just weren't able to control the game and that is why we lost the game. I congratulate Gospic CO on their win. They deserved it!"
Jelena Dubljevic (Rivas Ecopolis forward):
"Gospic CO played better than us. We were very tired from our very long trip, but that is not and cannot be an excuse. The better team won and we congratulate them."
Stipe Bralić (Gospić CO, Head Coach):
"When our opponent plays without an excellent center position, as we do not have one as well, then we play better. The faster the pace of the game, the better we play. Rivas is one of the best European basketball teams and we are proud of our girls who beat them two times for this is very difficult. The second round has just begun and we'll do our best in the competitions."
Sandra Mandir (Gospić CO guard):
"It's always a nice feeling to win. We were finally able to win a game at home and that against Rivas Ecopolis, one of the best basketball teams in Europe. We're very proud that we were able to break their winning streak of 5 wins. This gives us the strength to continue playing stronger in the second round of this competition so that we can achieve our goal".