Bourges Basket winning does not make LFB news headlines but the defeat of USVO, Montpellier and Villeneuve does.
Montpellier's defeat against Challes-les-Eaux may cost them home advantage in the championship play-off series as they missed a good opportunity to draw level with USVO.
Aix-en-Provence already beat USVO once this season in the cup. So their victory this Wednesday does not really come as a surprise. Whereas USVO have added a new line to their history as they suffered for the first time in their LFB history three consecutive defeats. Villeneuve d'Ascq's defeat has made the battle for forth place more interesting.
SJS Reims leaving COB Calais in the red
Calais had no option but to win this game to give themselves a chance of remaining in the LFB. Unfortunately for them, Reims were not in a generous mood. Although Calais scored the first points of the game, it was clear that Reims had other ideas.
Reims started with a trey from Anne-Marie Parau followed by a shuffle from Mia Fisher (left). If that was not enough Mame Marie Sy not only won crucial rebounds and scored back-to-back baskets, Zuzanna Klimesova was unselfishly working hard around the court.
During this match Reims continued to be play in the same manner even when these four players were off the court with their replacements maintaining the scoring rate.
Reims led at the end of the first period (22-15). The moment they lost their way in the second quarter Klimesova hid her trademark three-pointer from the top of the key. Then Fisher managed to retrieve a ball that she actually had lost and scored. You could then see that Calais were in difficulty. Reims went into the interval leading (37-24).
Reims finished the game as a contest by the end of the third period (55-36). However they lost their way in the final quarter allowing Calais to reduce the deficit. Allyson Hardy (in picture) who was hurt two weeks back was still not at 100%. Yet she did what she could to try and get her side back in the last ten minutes of the match. For Reims this victory put them back in the hunt for a fourth or fifth place finish. Fisher led the scoring for Reims with 15 points. Klimesova and Sy scored 12 points apiece. All the players from Reims scored.
LFB news from the north derby between Villeneuve and Arras
Villeneuve were warned about the free-throw skills of Sheana Mosch. Yet they allowed her 10 attempts of which she scored 100%. In fact Arras scored 22 points from a possible 24 points from the charity stripes while Villeneuve were only 13-of-27.
In a sew-saw battle that had Arras leading at the end of the first period (21-16) Villeneuve went back in front by the interval (37-34). Shala Crawford had scored 13 points for Villeneuve while Mosch was on 10 points. Both players were to be closely marked in the second half of the match.
Villeneuve used a lot of energy during the third period but were unable to turn their domination into points. They only extended their advantage to 7 points (55-48).
Arras were very aggressive in the final quarter and regained the lead with just over a minutes left in the game (71-64).
Kathy Wambe, who was not having a good day from the free-throw line, hit a shot from down-town. 10 seconds later Luba Drljaca hit another shot from the land of many, her 16th point of the night (70-71).
With only 15 seconds left the game was now in its traditional "I foul you" phase. Sheana Morsh was first to go to the foul line making no mistake (73-70). Wambe then managed to get into the box, scored and drew a foul. She had the chance to level the scores with the extra free-throw but missed.
With seven seconds left to play Bénédicte Fombonne from Villeneuve was left with no choice but to foul . The player from Arras made no mistake from the free-throw line (75-72). Fombonne was given the opportunity to tie the match from behind the arc but the ball refused to drop. Furthermore Carla Thomas (left) picked up the defensive rebound and was fouled.
Thomas made only one of her free-throws but it was enough to bring the game to an end. With Calais' defeat Arras just require one win in their remaining three games to secure their place in the LFB.
The rest of the LFB news with April madness taking over the LFB
Bourges Basket had to wait until the third period to subdue the challenge of their opponents, Tarbes. Their inside players Sonja Kireta with 17 points and Endeme Miyem with 12 points led the Bourges attack as they won (66-51).
did it again. They beat USVO in a low scoring game. The teams were tied (16-16) at the end of the first period. Yet Aix managed to go into the break leading (31-26).
The game remained close throughout with Aix leading (50-49) going into the last minute. K.B Sharp (left) once again pulled a trick from her magic box by drawing a foul that saw her going to the foul line. She made her free-throws. However USVO still had the chance to tie the match when they managed to feed the ball to Laurie Koehn. It was not her evening from beyond the arc (0-for-3) and her attempted failed to connect.
Liad Suez-Karni then beat Reka Czerny to the rebound and USVO's chance was gone. Suez completed the scoring from the free-throw line for Aix to win (54-49).
Montpellier allowed Challes-les-Eaux a 20-point head start. Despite coming back on several occasions in a crazy match Montpellier were unable to regain the lead. Challes who were playing without Chandi Johnson were thankful for the three-point shooting of Emilie Duvivier with 5-of-7 as they won (65-51).
Mourenx started well against Clermont-Ferrand but lost in the end (68-76). But the real news was the announcement of Tamika Whitmore thinking about coming back to Mourenx for the coming season.
Mondeville are back in fourth place after they beat Saint Amand (58-50).
LFB News: Round 23 results and boxscores
Villeneuve 72-76Arras Challes-les-Eaux65-51 Lattes Montpellier Bourges Basket66-51 Tarbes Aix-en-Provence54-49 USVO Mourenx 68-76Clermont-Ferrand Reims68-55 Calais Mondeville58-50 St Amand