The story of the first five minutes between Nice BC 06 and Illkirch-Graffenstaden were simple: Nice did not miss and led (12-5). They also outmuscled their guests under the boards and won the rebound battle 6-1.
Emilie Petiteau-Silband (left) with 7 first-quarter points for Nice made the game difficult for the SIG.
The SIG did not make things easy for themselves as they only hit 2-from-9 shots during the first five minutes. However they managed to turn things around, playing more aggressively, winning crucial rebounds to finish the first quarter with a flourish.
Aline Fischbach scored 7 points as the SIG finished the first quarter trailing by a single point (19-20).
Both sides changed defensive tactics in the second quarter, a mixture of player to player defense and zone defensive systems.
Both sides had to work hard to score with all the points coming from inside the paint or free-throw line.
Nice led (28-26) with two minutes to play when Philippe Breitenbucher called for a SIG time-out.
However it was Nice with Lawrence Cayot (12 points) to outscore the SIG (7-3) and go into the interval leading (35-30).
After the break, the game opened up with the shooters finally getting their chances to score from beyond the arc.
Nice struck first with treys from Petiteau-Silband (16 points) and Morganne Plestan enabling them to move 14 points clear (46-32) with two minutes played in the third quarter.
The SIG hit back immediately with Lucie Battaglia (11 points - left in picture) who scored twice from beyond the arc and 2 points from Céline Schmitt-Sendner.
The SIG were then in control and Caroline Nestor and Lina Brazdeïkyte did the rest of the scoring as the SIG reclaimed the lead (51-48) after 26 minutes of play.
They kept up the intensity and went into the final quarter ahead (59-51).
The last quarter was typical NF1 basketball, a lot of shooting, too many unnecessary turnovers and plenty of excitement as the pendulum swung in one direction or the other.
Nice trailed by 5 points (58-63) as the game was reaching its climax. Yet Brazdeïkyte (20 points - right in picture) ended the suspense with back to back treys for the SIG to stall the comeback of the hosts and set the SIG up for victory.
Nice failed to score again and the SIG went on to win (78-58).
Darline N'Soki also finished in double digits with 10 points while Schmitt-Sendner had a perfect shooting day with 3-of-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
For Nice BC 06 the dream of a final four is practically over, while the SIG remain in 5th place.