Winning at home in the EuroLeague Women best of three play-off series has become an important factor.
Defending EuroLeague women champions Spartak Moscow Region had a tough assignment against Ros Casares and were made to work hard to win (65-57).
Halcon Avenida did not disappoint the home supporters as they beat MiZo Pécs 2010 (85-63).
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Spartak Moscow Region held off Amaya Valdemoro and Ros Casares
Lauren Jackson scored the first points of the match after a pass from Sue Bird with less than three seconds on the clock as Spartak Moscow Region raced into action.
The hosts then led (12-3) with less than four minutes played and won the first quarter (21-13).
They managed to control the pace of the game during the second period and went into the interval leading (33-24).
Ros Casares went to work offensively during the third period. On the back of 9 points from Amaya Valdemoro went in front (42-41) with 26 minutes played.
Kelly Miller restored the advantage back to the hosts from the free-throw line. Bird and Jackson also added to their side's total as they went into the final period leading (47-42).
The last quarter was a tense affair, while Spartak Moscow put a stop to Valdemoro (20 points), they could not stop other players.
The result was that Ros Casares tied the game with a DeLisha Milton-Jones' three-pointer (55-55) with a little less than four minutes to play.
Jurgita Streimikyte put the hosts back in the lead from the charity stripes. Sylvia Fowles three-point play (2+1) with a minutes left to play (62-57) more or less ended the efforts of Ros Casares.
Jackson and Bird combined once more for the last points of the game as Jackson scored from behind the arc her 17th point of the game.
EuroLeague Women Box Score
Bourges Basket lost at home to MKB Euroleasing
MKB were more aggressive at the start of the game and forced Bourges into committing fouls as the they controlled the first five minutes to lead (8-5).
Céline Dumerc started the Bourges revival and then Nwal Endéné Miyem went to work in the paint with back to back scores.
The hosts continued to concentrate their efforts with the big ladies inside and Emméline Ndongue levelled the score (13-13) with almost eight minutes played.
Hungarian international Nora Bujdoso gave Bourges Basket the lead from the free-throw line.
Dumerc completed the 7-0 run also from the free-throw line as her side opened the first lead of any significance (19-13) with nine minutes played.
Yet Jelena Milovanovic from MKB had the last word of the first period as she split a pair of free-throws.
She then scored on the buzzer to bring her side to within 3 points of Bourges Basket (16-19).
Katalin Honti soon had the teams back on level term less than one minute played in the second period (19-19).
Katarina Manic ended the MKB run with a three-pointer. She also scored again for Bourges 90 seconds later, this time from two-point territory (24-19).
Despite going 6 points clear Bourges were unable to pull away as MKB held firm and scored 7 unanswered points to briefly regain the advantage.
Bourges struggled offensively. Despite regaining the lead and the work of Dumerc, it was MKB that went into the locker ahead as Milovanic scored on the buzzer again (36-35).
Ndongue did all the scoring for Bourges Basket while Milovanic was the centre of attraction of MKB at the start of the third period. MKB actually managed to stretch their lead (44-39) with a little over 22 minutes played.
Cathy Melain tried to get her side going as she made openings for Santos and Ndongue to score for Bourges.
However Honti and Milovanic refused to be put down for MKB. They hit Bourges 10-0 with back to back three-pointers by Milovanic and Tijana Krivacevic (53-43).
Miyem stopped the avalanche briefly with a three-pointer for Bourges. But MKB went back on the attack and scored 10 more points to lead (63-46) going into the final quarter.
The first seven minutes of the fourth quarter was disappointing because MKB lost their scoring touch and missed every attempt for almost seven minutes.
In addition Bourges Basket were not able to take advantage of this as they also missed their shots. They failed to put away free-throws as they managed only 5 points.
Dóra Horti ended the MKB draught (65-51). However Bourges Basket still had over 3 ½ minutes to save the game.
But with only 2 points coming from Ndongue, Pierre Vincent called for a time-out with three minutes left to play.
His side then went on what can be described as operation three-point as Manic, served by Melain, and then Dumerc fired in back-to-back three-pointers (59-65) as the game entered its last minute.
Dumerc went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line before Amber Holt made a couple of free-throws for MKB to restore the 6-point advantage with 30 seconds left to play.
The guests continued to make things difficult for themselves with turnovers as Bourges Basket went on the hustle. With about 10 seconds to play Kathleen MacLeod was called for a shooting foul on Dumerc from beyond the arc.
Dumerc hit the first two free-throws. She then missed the third one but the rebound was picked up by Ndongue who then scored and was also fouled.
She scored her free-throw to bring Bourges to within a single point (65-66) with less than six seconds to play.
Milovanovic (right) was fouled and scored both free-throws. Bourges just had enough time for one last effort to take the game into overtime with Cathy Melain.
The effort fell short leaving Bourges Basket as the only home team to lose in game one of the EuroLeague Women quarter-finals.
Milovanic finsihed the match with 25 points while Honti and Holt scored 16 and 12 points apiece. Honti also had 6 assists.
Ndongue led the Bourges attack with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Dumerc scored 14 points and aslo had 6 assists.
EuroLeague Women Box Score
Halcon Avenida make no mistakes against Mizo Pécs 2010
Halcon Avenida made home advantage count as they overcame Hungarian club side Mizà Pécs (85-63).
Le'Coe Willingham hit a three-point-buzzer-beater at the end of the first period that sent the home fans wild as it brought back memories of their game against CSKA Moscow.
Leading (24-15) by the end of the first period, they quickly pushed their advantage to double digits through Michelle "Donnette" Snow (28-17).
They never allowed their advantage to drop below 8 points and went into the final locker room with a 12-point lead (52-40).
Halcon Avenida killed the game off as a contest during the third period as they conceded only 5 points while scoring 15 points.
Leading by 22 points going into the final period José Hernández, the head coach from Halcon Avenida, turned his bench giving a chance for all the players to get on the court.
Snow led the Halcon Avenida scoring with 17 points. Four other players finished in double digits. For Mizo Pécs Nicole Ohlde scored 21 points and picked up 11 rebounds.
EuroLeague Women Box Score
News from EuroLeague Women 1/8 final game three
News from EuroLeague Women 1/8 final game two
News from EuroLeague Women 1/8 final game one
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Date created: 17 February 2009