Basketball news: Tarbes beat Montpellier in a dramatic finish
Charde Houston continues to make the basketball news with her joining Sandra Le Dréan's team ZVVK USK Prague as medical replacement for Cathrine Kraayeveld.
For this match Tarbes had to make some tactical changes to the team structure with the departure of Houston.
There is another issue for Tarbes: German international Anne Breitreiner is still not at 100%. She was hurt during the EuroLeague Women’s game against Spartak Moscow Region while Tarbes' captain Isis Arrondo is currently on crutches.
Montpellier also have injury problems with the forced absence of Constance Jinks due to a foot injury. They also suffered their first defeat in 15 games in midweek while playing in the EuroCup Women competition.
Basketball news game report: Tarbes suffered, but prevailed in the end
Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui and Sandra Dijon-Gérardin's (left) battle started right from the tip-off.
Dijon-Gérardin was the first on the score sheet with less than 20 seconds on the shot clock.
The two centres continued their battle for the first five minutes with Yacoubou-Dehoui scoring 7 points for Tarbes and Dijon-Gérardin 5 points for Montpellier with Tarbes leading (11-9).
Emma Randall who was in the starting five for Tarbes picked up 2 early fouls and had to return to the bench. She was replaced by Fatimatou Sacko (20 points, 11 rebounds).
Neither side was having any joy shooting from distance so they continued to work in the paint to score.
Sacko was all over the place for Tarbes and scored 5 points as her team edged the first quarter (19-14).
Then Tarbes stepped on the accelerator with Sacko and Florence Lepron (8 assists) scoring quickly (22-14). This forced the Montpellier head coach Valéry Demory to call his first time-out of the match with 90 secods into the second quarter.
Montpellier changed tactics and started to find their way to the basket with Dana Boonan and Sylvie Gruszczynski. However Tarbes continued shooting from beyond the arc and finally connected on their 10th attempt with Pauline Jannault (30-20).
Tarbes were forced to make changes after Randall picked up her 3rd foul. Yacoubou-Dehoui returned to action and scored almost immediately.
With the introduction of Naura El Gargati Tarbes changed things around. They increased their lead to 13 points (36-23).
With the clock running down Montpellier hit Tarbes on the fast break with Pauline Krawczyk (left) knocking down Montpellier’s first trey of the game.
The last three seconds took more than two minutes to play because both coaches called time-outs. Frida Eldebrink from Tarbes managed to get the shot off before the buzzer but it failed to drop.
Tarbes went into the locker room leading (36-26).
Both teams stepped up defensively after the break and the game became more physical with players from both sides picking up charging fouls.
François Gomez was not happy with his players and decided to call a time-out with five minutes left to play in the third quarter with his side (43-36) in front.
Montpellier's defensive wall managed to keep Tarbes at bay until Yacoubou-Dehoui (right) decided to successfully hit them face on.
All the same Montpellier weathered the storm and continued to bring the score down. They trailed by 6 points after Alexia Plagnard split a pair of free-throws (39-45) with 27 minutes played.
Mandisa Stevenson from Montpellier was left open on top of the key, she profited to fire in the third trey of the game to make it a 3-point game (42-45).
This action woke up Tarbes who hit back quickly with scores from Eldebrink and Sacko. They were able to take a 7-point lead into the final quarter (51-44) after a couple of free-throws by Randall.
The match picked up in pace at the start of the final quarter. Jannault scored with the first attempt but Montpellier hit back almost immediately with Gäelle Skrela.
Eldebrink fired in her first trey of the match to restore the 10-point margin (56-46).
Montpellier went to work with Krawczyk (19 points) and the three-point shooting from Stevenson (12 points) to tie the game (63-63) with three minutes to play.
Plagnard (left) managed to get the ball away from Yacoubou-Dehoui.
She set up an attack which was completed by Dijon-Gérardin (11 points) to take the guests into the lead (65-63) for the first time in the match.
Tarbes continued to shoot from beyond the arc with no luck.
But after a failed attempt by Sacko, Eldebrink picked up the offensive rebound to tie the game (65-65) with 90 seconds to play.
Eldebrink (14 points) was then left open for a split second just beyond the arc to fire in her second trey of the game for Tarbes to restore the lead with 50 seconds to play.
The end was hard on Plagnard who lost the ball to Yacoubou-Dehoui (17 points), who went all the way to score and seal the victory for Tarbes (70-65).