Alexsandra Santos and Anke De Mondt were very active for the guests from Spain as Halcon Avenida had to deal with Endene Miyem (left) during the first five minutes of the match. The lead changed hands on several occasions with no more than a point advantage for any side. Belinda Snell put Bourges in front with a 3-point play (11-9) at the midway point in the first period.
Avenida then put on a 6-0 run as the pace of the game increased (15-11). Bourges managed to stay in contact with Snell and ended the first quarter level with a buzzer finish by Sonja Petrovic (22-22).
After a quick exchange of baskets Bourges stepped on the accelerator. Petrovic hit a trey and then Sonja Kireta made a couple of free-throws. Avenida’s head coach immediately requested a time-out.
The words from Jose Hernandez worked as his side quickly hit back with a couple of baskets from Tracy Reid (left). Bourges were now on the back foot while their opponents Ivanka Matic and Isabel Sanchez completed the 8-0 run that put them briefly in front (32-29).
Pierre Vincent then got his team to run fast breaks which resulted in Céline Dumerc and Cathy Melain (right) scoring on consecutive breaks. Miyem completed the 10-1 run with her now trademark jump shot (39-33 ).
Santos, very strong under the boards, won an offensive rebound off a Sanchez 3-point miss and put the ball in. The guests scored the last points of the first half after Clara Moreno (wearing blue left in picture) made a couple of free-throws that reduced Bourges’ lead (39-36) as they headed into the locker room.
Moreno continued from were she left off in the first half as she opened the scoring with a 3-point play to tie the game once again (39-39).
Bourges quickly regained control. With Anna Montañana picking up a technical foul Bourges forged ahead (48-42).
Suffocating defence restricted their guests
Snell and Miyem continued to add points to their tally and a Dumerc three-ball gave the home side the first significant lead of the game (57-46) with just over 25 minutes played.
Bourges’ suffocating defence restricted their guests in scoring only from the free-throw line as they went into the final period with a 10-point advantage (59-49).
Petrovic and de Mondt (in picture) traded shots from the land of many to get the final quarter off to a flying start. Bourges then hit a couple of baskets (66-52) that forced the coaching staff from Avenida to call for a time-out.
The guests’ situation did not improve as they fell further behind after Melain sank a pair of free-throws. Hernandez then called for a second time-out to address the situation. His side came into this tie with a 4-point lead from the first leg and were now trailing by 16 points.
Miyem completed Bourges’ 8-0 run for her 19th point of the evening. Reid’s basket was all that the guests had to offer as Bourges continued to find their way to the basket increasing their advantage to more than 20 points (75-54) with a little over two minutes left on the game clock.
Pierre Vincent turned his bench as Bourges went on to win (79-59).
Snell hit a game high 20 points and also dished out 5 assists while Miyem finished with 19 points with 9-of-11 from the field. Céline Dumerc joined them in double digits with 14 points which included 2-of-3 from the land of many. Bourges also hit 12-of-12 from the free-throw line while their opponents managed 10-of-20.
Reid led the scoring for the opponents with 12 points and was joined in double digits by De Mondt and Sanchez on 10 apiece.