Manati.- The Carolina Giants resisted on Tuesday to stop the seven-game winning streak of the Atenienses de Manati with a 77-76 victory at the Jose “Buga” Abreu Coliseum.
The Carolina quintet, second in the standings in the National Women’s Superior Basketball (BSNF), improved to 9-5.
Manati, for its part, only lost for the second time in the tournament and continues as leader in the standings with 12-2. The squad from the north of the island had not lost since last August 16, when it was beaten 67-64 by the Cangrejeras de Santurce. It was the first setback at home so far in the tournament.
The Athenians have already secured their place in the semifinals of the 2024 season.
Down by 18 points (72-54) with 8:29 minutes left, Manati built a 20-2 lead, capped by a triple from Jessica Jackson, to tie the game at 74 with 1:19 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Ashley Torres gave the locals the lead 76-74 by hitting two free throws with 35 seconds remaining.
Selena Lott battled under the basket to give the Giants back the lead 77-76 with a basket and a foul with 14.2 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Manati was unable to convert a play to complete the comeback.
Manati won the first duel of the season 72-65 on September 9. They will see each other again for the last time on the 16th of this month.
Lott was the best for the Giants with 23 points, followed by Charity Harris with 17 points. Tayra Melendez had a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.
For Manati, Jackson led with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Torres followed her with 14.
The Giants took the first quarter 21-19 with 11 points from Harris.
The locals took the lead 22-21 at the beginning of the second quarter with a triple by Claudia Ortiz. The lead did not last long. Carolina escaped with an 11-0 run, led by nine points from Lott, to win 32-21.
Manati was able to shorten the deficit to six points (42-26) with free throws from Quinones before the halftime break.
The visitors increased their advantage again, this time by up to 16 points (68-52), in the third quarter. Manati, on the other hand, was not behind the goal.