The LFB challenge round is proving to be very competitive. Aix-en-Provence came from behind in the final period against Tarbes to finish the first match tied (58-58). In the second match Clermont finally found their mark from the land of many in the final period and take an 8-point lead into the second leg.
Moeggenberg and Savasta’s joy spoilt by Lacroix
Aix-en-Provence must have wished that the 3-point line was already moved back 50 centimetres as Liz Moeggenberg (left) with two three-pointers and Laura Savasta with one got Tarbes off to a 9-0 start with less than three minutes played.
Magali Lacroix (right) and Liad Suez-Karni quickly brought Aix into the game and after six minutes the game was tied (11-11). Tarbes regained the advantage and thanks to Clémence Beikes finished the first period with a 5-point advantage (20-15).
The second quarter resembled a seesaw as first Tarbes scored a few baskets then Aix came storming back. However Tarbes finished with a flourish to go ahead into the interval (32-28).
Moeggenberg was leading the Tarbes offensive and put her side 10 points clear early in the third period (38-28). Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui, decisive in the paint, increased Tarbes’ advantage (45-32) with 24 minutes on the game clock.
Aix started to play more physically and Lacroix started to win her duels. By the end of the third period Tarbes’ advantage was reduced (47-41).
Aix started to hit from the land of many with first Stéphanie Beuzelin (left) as they reduced their deficit to 3 points. Although more dominant Aix were not able to finish their good work and Tarbes were back to 10 points in front (56-46).
Aix had exactly 3:35 to save the game. Lacroix hit a trey, soon followed by a jumper. Tarbes, still leading (56-53), required a time-out called by François Gomez as the game was then in money-time.
Moggenberg scored her 21st and last point of the evening soon after the time-out (58-53). Anda Jekabsone hit a trey for Aix with just under a minute left in the game.
With just seven seconds left Lacroix hit her 23rd point of the night for Aix to level the match (58-58).
Clermont-Ferrand won by hitting the mark beyond the arc in the final quarter
Clermont started the match well to open with (5-0) but finished the first period trailing to Challes-les-Eaux (20-26).
Clermont chased the game from the start of the second quarter and reduced their deficit to a single point (30-31) halfway through this quarter. They regained the lead to go ahead into the interval (39-33).
Clermont increased the gap during the third period to maximum 11 points (47-36) before Challes-les-Eaux came storming back to within 1 point. Clermont-Ferrand, despite their fiasco from beyond the arc with 4-from-25, went into the final period leading (55-50).
The last quarter was end to end basketball with the hosts finally finding their mark from beyond the arc to hold off their guests to win the first game (74-66).
Laina Badiane finished with a game high 20 points in a losing cause while Pauline Krawczyk led the scoring for Clermont with 17 points.