|Catherine Joens top scored for Bourges, finishing with a personal season-best 26 points|
A late burst of devastating three-point shooting from Celine Dumerc helped Bourges inflict an exciting 77-72 defeat on Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje as the top two clubs in EuroLeague Women Group A treated fans to a real thriller in France.
After both teams shared leads at various stages during the first three quarters of the contest without being able to truly break the game open, it looked like Isabelle Yacoubou had finally done so when she scored at the hoop to make it 66-60 for Sparta&K with less than five minutes left on the game clock.
But, with Cathy Joens having the hot-hand in a big way, she immediately sunk a three-pointer to halve the deficit and make it a one-shot game which set up a fascinating conclusion as the outside accuracy of Bourges continued to keep them in contention.
And, things would only improve further as Dumerc took the Bourges shooting baton with real gusto, sinking a triple to bring the home side level at 68-68 with two minutes remaining.
Then, in a case of déjà vu, Dumerc struck again from the perimeter to put her team 73-70 ahead, with a little more than 60 seconds to play.
It proved to be a pivotal intervention and as Bourges completed a 17-6 run to finish the game.
The playmaker ended up with 21 points after making five-of-six from long range, although 26 points from Joens and an excellent cameo of 18 efficient points from Endene Miyem were crucial.
Seimone Augustus had 20 points for the visiting side who now have the same record as their rivals, 6-2.
Sparta&K head coach Pokey Chatman:
"It was a game of emotion, and we play basketball for this kind of game! I tried to keep
the team concentrated on the game and to keep the emotion out of the game. Bourges played well, and now we will have to focus on the next game."
Sparta&K player Isabelle Yacoubou:
"It was a tough and intense game, some details were changing the end of the game. We
expected Bourges at this level, we are proud to have been able to fight with them but we need to work more and to make the team consistent. But it's always difficult when you don't have the opportunity to prepare for the championship."
Bourges head coach Valerie Garnier:
"After a good adjustment between the players on Monday, I'm happy to see that the players are respecting their commitment. We made a good game with very good statistics and a wonderful arena. But we don't have to forget that when Bourges is playing against Sparta&k, it's a little like Hainaut playing against Bourges."
Bourges player Celine Dumerc:
"I'm not surprised by our reaction after the poor performance against Hainaut this
weekend. I was pretty sure that we would play well. We put a lot of energy and passion in the game but were keeping a good control on our play. I'm very happy for my team."