Open LFB: Bourges struggled against Toulouse

The final match on day 1 of the Open LFB turned into a classic as Bourges Basket held off the late challenge of Toulouse.

After-match comments from Nwal-Endéné Miyem and Paoline Salagnac from Bourges Basket and Leah Metcalf from Toulouse are added after the repotrt.

Bourges Basket and Toulouse at the Open LFB  ©

Bourges Basket took their time to get going and Toulouse through Agathe Nnindjem scored first.

However with Anaël Lardy running the plays Bourges scored 7 straight points to take an early charge of the game.

Toulouse somehow managed to stop Bourges from running away with the match as the game became rather technical.

All the same Bourges appeared to be in control leading (15-6) with seven minutes played. They then stepped on the turbo with Paoline Salagnac scoring 8 first-quarter points (23-11).

Bourges Basket and Toulouse at the Open LFB  © Toulouse started to play with more confidence at the start of the second quarter and refused to allow Bourges Basket to dominate.

The two teams traded basket for basket for the first five minutes (32-32) with Bourges still in front.

However Pierre Vincent was not happy with the way things were going for his team.

He called a time-out with just under four minuets remaining in the quarter after Katharina Fikiel was allowed all the time in the world to score in the paint for Toulouse.

Toulouse do not have the height of Bourges but continued to win defensive rebounds as well as scoring from fast breaks (26-32) to reduce their deficit.

Bourges were forced to stepped up defensively and then finished the first half with a flourish to go into the locker room leading (37-28).

Bourges Basket and Toulouse under the basket  © womensbasketball-in-france.comBourges found the going difficult after the break and managed only 1 point during the first three minutes.

They left Emmanuelle Hermouet free from beyond the arc to score.

This action then inspired Leah Metcalf into a solo action to score (33-38).

Pierre Vincent was not impressed and called for a time-out.

Toulouse started to contest everything. With Swanne Gauthier and Metcalf alternating the play Bourges Basket was put on the back foot.

Bourges' only points were coming from the free-throw line as they held on to the advantage despite the efforts of Nnindjem inside the offensive paint against Ilona Burgrova (45-36).

The game reverted to a chess match between both coaches with Pierre Vincent staying in front (48-41) going into the final quarter.

The two teams continued to play cat and mouse as the intensity increased. Bourges' extra experience in the LFB started to show.

With the 24-second clock winding down Katrina Manic went all the way to the basket before kicking a pass back to Ana Lelas at the top of the key who hit the three-pointer on the buzzer (58-46).

However Toulouse did not give in and continued to fightback. Metcalf kick-started a 7-0 run with a coast to coast to set up a tense finish (53-58) with the game going into money-time.

The last couple of minutes was fireworks all the way. Yet Bourges survived and hung on for victory (62-58).

Open LFB: Game Statistics and play by play

Open LFB: Box Score

Watch the game here: Bourges 62-58 Toulouse

Open LFB Basket and the City 5 after-match comments Leah Metcalf at the Open LFB 2009 in Paris  © Leah Metcalf is a new player to the French league. She played in Sweden last season. She said that Bourges Basket was a tough team, very physical and tall. She felt that they did okay for the first game but they had be more solid in the future.

Nwal-Endéné Miyem at the Open LFB 2009 in Paris press conference  © womensbasketball-in-france.comNwal-Endéné Miyem was asked at the Open LFB after-match press conference if she thought that it was a bad sign for the rest of the season the way the game went.

She reminded everybody that two seasons ago they had a tough match at the Open LFB but still had a good season.

She went on to explain that games at the Open were always tough and that Toulouse were out to deliver a message to the other teams in the league which was that they were here.

She finished off by saying that there is nothing to worry about despite the Toulouse comeback, that everything was under control and it was then back to work to improve for the rest of the season.

Paoline Salagnac © womensbasketball-in-france Paoline Salagnac who joined Bourges this season from Mondeville said that Open LFB matches were special and playing against newly promoted teams were always tough.

These teams had nothing to lose when they came up from the lower leagues and they took their chances. The win was all that was important from this match and that was attained. They had to go back afterwards to the drawing board and work on improving for the next match.

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Date created: 26 September 2009

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