|11 February 2004|
Ros Casares Valencia were unable to answer a 20-8 run in the last minutes of the 4th quarter and went down to USVO 68-62, at the same time bowing out from their EuroLeague Women campaign for 2004.
Domingo Diaz‘s squad had to fight from the very start with an incredible atmosphere in the Salle du Hainaut, created by the 1,500 local fans who had turned out to support the Valenciennes club. Despite this, Valencia started well and thanks to great defence and inspired play from Ingrid Pons and Elisa Aguilar took a 5-point lead after 5 minutes.
USVO reacted well however, and Suzy Batkovic came into the game strong, hitting a huge 3-pointer, provoking a second foul from Michele Van Gorp and teaming up with Sandra Le Drean to pull the locals back into competition.
The second quarter saw many errors with both sides turning the ball over at both ends of the court. The inside game then picked up with Van Gorp battling it out with Ann Wauters in the paint. USVO slowly pulled ahead, taking a 28-21 lead with 4 minutes left, but Ros Casares fought back, Lucienne Berthieu in particular causing problems for the French defence. Valencia went on a 0-8 run in the last minute, headed by a 3 from Kedra Holland-Corn, and the game looked very close going into the break: 37-35.
Both teams came out fired up for the second half, however, it was Valencia who were able to make the most of their renewed energy. Holland-Corn snatched a couple of steals and Trish Fallon converted 2 free-throws to hand Ros Casares the lead anew, 39-45. Nevertheless, Van Gorp picked up her 4th foul and USVO were then able to capitalise and kept pushing the ball inside.
The visitors hung onto the lead into the last quarter, however a series of turnovers handed possession to the hosts again and again. USVO crept back and re-took the lead with 3 minutes to go 62-59. Valenciennes hung on for the win, finishing Ros Casares EuroLeague hopes for 2004 in the process.