Rivas Edge Bourges, Gain Ground

09 January 2013


8. Oleksandra Kurasova (Rivas Ecopolis)
Oleksandra Kurasova was the undisputed leader of Rivas' important win against Bourges

A 26 point haul from Oleksandra Kurasova propelled Rivas Ecopolis to a nail-biting and precious 65-62 success against EuroLeague Women Group A rivals Bourges Basket.

The Ukrainian forward had a big hand in the win and especially in the clutch, as Rivas extracted sweet revenge for their loss in France earlier in the campaign.

With both clubs very familiar with each other after a riveting play-off series last season, they served up another absorbing encounter which ebbed and flowed beautifully.

After a tight opening quarter which Rivas just edged 19-18,they grabbed the initiative during the second period and opened up a double-digit lead at 37-27.

However, led by Styliani Kaltsidou and Cathy Joens, Bourges fought back and outscored Rivas 18-10 after the break to set up a thrilling and intense last ten minutes.

They even took the lead via a score by Celine Dumerc with just over two minutes to go, which put them 57-56 ahead.

But, Kurasova drained a big three-pointer to get Rivas rolling again and they held their nerve from the free-throw line to seal the win as a late triple from Joens halved the deficit for the visitors, but it was too late to save the game as time ran out.

Aneika Henry had a double-double for Rivas with 11 points and 12 rebounds, whilst Joens poured in 21 points for Bourges as they slipped to a third loss - the same number as Rivas who gave their play-off prospects a real boost.


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