Oostende halt Sassari, Group D race tightens - Gameday 10, Tuesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - Tuesday action saw Oostende end the win streak of Group A leaders Sassari and the Group D table turn into a Gordian knot after Besiktas and PAOK clinched big victories.
Meanwhile in Group C, VEF Riga became the first team to drop off the race for a spot in the 2019-20 Basketball Champions League Play-Offs, at the same time that Mornar Bar found a second wind at the expense of Nizhny.
Let's have closer look at the eight Tuesday games:
Filou Oostende 88-82 Dinamo Sassari - Group A
Oostende delivered their best three-point shooting display of the season to top Sassari 88-82, ending the winning streak of the Italian team that arrived in Belgium as the solitary Group A leader.
The hosts shot 40 percent from downtown (12 of 30) inspired by MiKyle McIntosh, who collected a season-high 27 points on 4 of 6 shooting from behind the arc.
Neither team led by double digits at any stage so when Michele Vitali knocked down a triple 3:28 from the final buzzer to reduce Oostende's cushion to 79-76, the home crowd braced for a tight finale.
Servaas Buysschaert however replied swiftly by knocking down a jumper at the end of the 24-second clock and, after Vitali was called for a technical foul on the other end, McIntosh drilled his fourth trey of the night to stretch Oostende's lead to 85-76.
McIntosh had 4 rebounds and 4 assists to go with his 27 points while Dusan Djordjevic and Jean-Marc Mwema chipped in with 14 points each. Dwayne Evans fiished with a game-high 30 points and added 6 rebounds in a losing effort.
Oostende have now improved to 5-5 while Sassari have dropped to 7-3.
Hapoel nearly abolished an 18-point lead but managed to hold off a surging Vechta down the stretch and secure an important 83-74 victory in Germany while setting a new BCL record in the process.
The visitors shot an all-time high 85 percent (22 of 26) from two-point range as TaShawn Thomas hardly put a foot wrong all night, leading the Israeli side with 23 points on a flawless 10 of 10 from the floor, also adding 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.
Hapoel built a 45-27 shortly before the half-time buzzer and maintained the gap around the 18-point mark until midway through the third frame, when Vechta decided to throw everything at their visitors.
The German side started chipping away and Steve Vasturia reduced the deficit to 74-70 with 3:15 remaining to play.
Thomas however drew a foul 1:50 from the final buzzer and sunk both free-throws to extend Hapoel's lead back to six points, 76-70, and after Vechta turned the ball over on the other end, J’Covan Brown scored with a layup to give the visitors an 8-point cushion with just over a minute left.
John Holland, the latest addition to Hapoel's roster, gave Thomas plenty of help as he finished his first BCL game with 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting. For Vechta, Jordan Davis finished with a team-high 19 points and added 5 rebounds.
Hapoel have now improved to 7-3 on the table while Vechta slide to 5-5.
Besiktas had the final word in a clash that featured 33 lead changes and handed former Group D joint-leaders Bonn an 80-76 loss, in the Istanbul club's first BCL game under new coach Burak Biyiktay.
Toddrick Gotcher poured in 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the floor to lead the hosts, who were also playing their first game since the departure of Jordan Theodore and James McAdoo.
Ismet Akpinar drilled a triple from the top of the key 5:51 from the final buzzer to push the hosts ahead, 71-70, and sparked a 9-0 run for Besiktas to take a comfy cushion into the final stretch.
New Bonn arrival Alec Brown sunk two free-throws 34 seconds from time to reduce the gap to just two points, 78-76, but Akpinar again took the baseline and sealed the win for the Istanbul side with a floater.
Gotcher had 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist to go with his game-high 20 points, while Akpinar finished with 14 points and 4 assists. For Bonn, Anthony DiLeo collected 18 points and 7 assists in defeat.
Besiktas have now improved to 4-6 while Bonn have dropped to 6-4.
Neptunas Klaipeda 80-86 PAOK - Group D
PAOK outscored Neptunas 22-5 in the final seven minutes to rejuvenate their hopes of advancing from Group D with an 86-80 victory in Klaipeda.
The Greek side trailed 75-64 with 6:50 remaining to play but Adam Smith and Aaron Best instigated a fight back from the 11-point deficit and a Zane Knowles layup 90 seconds from the final buzzer put the visitors in front, 81-80.
With about 36 seconds left on the clock Neptunas went on a three-on-one fast break but the newly-arrived Shannon Shorter, who was playing his first BCL game with PAOK, came up with the block of the night to deny the hosts the easy bucket.
Bobby Brown, PAOK's other new addition during the Christmas break, drilled a step-back three on the other end 17 seconds from the final buzzer to stretch the visitors' lead to 84-80.
Smith paced PAOK with 18 points in just 19 minutes of action while Antwaine Wiggins posted a near double-double of 13 points and 9 rebounds, also adding 1 assist and 1 block. Deividas Gailius finished with a team-high 16 points for Neptunas in a losing effort.
Both teams now stand at 4-6 in the standings.
San Pablo Burgos 92-84 Teksut Bandirma - Group B
Burgos used a 21-1 run bridging the two final quarters to pull away from Bandirma and secure their fourth victory in five games, 92-84 over the Turkish team.
With the visitors leading 65-60 and 2:40 remaining to the end of the third quarter, Vitor Benite drilled a jumper to trigger the Burgos run.
The hosts jumped ahead 73-65 already by the end of the frame and extended the gap to 82-66 midway through the final stanza, putting the game beyond the reach of the Turkish side.
The Burgos bench out-scored Bandirma's second unit by an eye-popping 43 to 4, while the Spanish team also took advantage of their superiority inside, and out-rebounding Bandirma 43 to 27.
Earl Clark paced six Burgos players in double digits with his 13 points while Augusto Lima posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Bandirma's Jaime Smith collected a game-high 25 points and 6 assists in a losing effort.
EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez 85-77 Anwil Wloclawek - Group B
Pau shifted gears after the interval, jumped in the driver's seat and held on the rest of the way to snap a four-game losing skid by celebrating an 85-77 win over Anwil at home.
The French hosts build an 11-point lead midway through the third frame but Anwil reduced the deficit to 67-64 with about seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Ronald Moore hit a triple to give the hosts some much need breathing space, and after the Polish team wasted a couple of chances to pull closer, Digué Diawara sunk a jumper to restore a 9-point lead for the hosts, 73-64 with 5:31 left to play.
Justin Dentmon, the league's leading scorer, paved the way for the French team with 25 points, also adding 5 assists and 4 rebounds, while Ousmane Drame was dominant in the paint and collected a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds. Chris Dowe posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for Anwil in defeat.
Pau have now improved to 3-7 while Anwil have dropped to 5-5.
Mornar Bar 87-66 Nizhny Novgorod - Group C
Mornar Bar, who were the only team without a win to their name at the end of Gameday 6, secured on Tuesday their third success in the last four games, by surprising NIzhny 87-66 in Montenegro.
Milko Bjelica knocked down a triple 4:34 from the end of the opening frame to instigate a 14-3 run by the hosts, who grabbed a 27-16 lead at the first buzzer and never looked back.
The hosts held Nizhny to a disastrous 3 of 26 (11 percent) from behind the arc, while at the same time they shot 43 percent from long range and scored 13 easy points off the Russian team's turnovers.
Bjelica paced Mornar with 16 points and 3 rebounds, while Jacob Pullen chipped in with 14 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. For Nizhny, Darrlyn Willis finished with 22 points and 8 boards in a losing effort.
Mornar have now improved to 3-7 and maintain their bid to qualify to the Play-Offs on track, while Nizhny have dropped to 6-4.
ERA Nymburk 75-56 VEF Riga - Group C
Nymburk took away on Tuesday night VEF 's last hope of staying alive in the play-off race, by clinching a 75-56 win over the Latvian team at home.
The Czech champions used a 17-3 burst midway through the second frame to pull away from their visitors and led by as many as 22 points.
VEF threw everything at their hosts at the start of the final stanza, reducing the gap to 58-52 with 5:22 left on the clock and forcing Nymburk to call a timeout.
When play resumed, Zach Hankins scored with a layup to spark a 13-2 run by the Czech side which Jaromir Bohacik capped off 1:52 from the final buzzer, stretching Nymburk's lead to 71-54.
Hankins led the way for the winners with 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Vojtech Hruban chipped in with 11 points, 7 boards and 2 steals. VEF's Kristijan Krajina finished with a team-high 12 points and 6 rebounds in defeat.
Nymburk have improved to 8-2 while VEF have dropped to 1-9 and remain bottom of the group.