Zaragoza punch ticket to Play-Offs - Week 9 Tuesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - Casademont Zaragoza rode out winners in overtime from Nizhny Novgorod following a rollercoaster clash on Tuesday night and have become the second team, after Brose Bamberg, to secure a spot in the 2020-21 Basketball Champions League Play-Offs.
Nizhny Novgorod 92-98 Casademont Zaragoza (after OT) -- Group D
Casademont Zaragoza stormed back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and outgunned Nizhny Novgorod 98-92 in overtime on the road to become the first team to secure a spot in the Play-Offs from Group D.
The Spanish team fell behind 75-63 right before the eight-minute mark in the fourth stanza, but Dylan Ennis drilled a triple from deep to instigate a 15-2 burst.
Robin Benzing capped it off with back-to-back three-pointers, the second 3:17 from the end of the period, and brought Zaragoza back in front for the first time since the opening quarter, 78-77.
Artem Komolov hit a big step-back triple to tie the scores at 86-all with just 26 seconds remaining in regulation and Zaragoza turned the ball over, but Kasey Shepherd missed the potential game-winner for Nizhny just before the buzzer.
Having survived that wild finish to regulation, Zaragoza claimed the lead almost instantly in the extra period and Jason Thompson converted a three-point play to stretch their advantage to four points, 96-92, with just 56 seconds left to play.
Benzing, who scored 10 points in that pivotal fourth-quarter stretch, led all Zaragoza scorers with 23 points and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists, Ennis finished with 21 points and 7 assists and Thompson finished with 20 points.
Komolov had a BCL season-high 20 points and Luke Petrasek posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds for Nizhny, who have dropped to 3-2 but will accompany Zaragoza into the Play-Offs if they beat Falco at home in the final game of the Regular Season.
Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon 77-71 AEK -- Group C
Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon used a 12-0 run late in the final quarter to jump ahead of AEK and pick up a 77-71 win at home that blows the Play-Offs race in Group C wide open.
The Israeli and Greek teams are now tied at 3-2 in the standings but Holon have claimed the tiebreaker, since AEK had won by four points in the reverse fixture in Athens.
Holon trailed during most of the opening quarter but Tyrus McGee posted up on back-to-back possessions and Chris Johnson hit a triple from the corner to cap off a 9-0 Holon run, and the hosts claimed a 30-23 lead midway through the second frame.
AEK however worked their way back as Jonas Maciulis drilled two triples in quick succession late in the third stanza and Keith Langford drew a foul on a three-point attempt 8:51 from the final buzzer and sunk all three free-throws to give the Greeks a 58-55 lead.
But with AEK leading 67-65 right before the four-minute mark in the final period, Willy Workman made two free-throws to spark the decisive Holon burst which Chris Johnson capped off with a dunk 2:15 from the end to give Holon a double-digit lead, 77-67.
McGee led all Holon scorers with 18 points while Johnson came up with a double-double of 16 points and 13 boards, also adding 2 assists and 2 steals. Langford finished with a team-high 19 points for AEK in a losing effort.
Cholet 89-71 Tsmoki-Minsk -- Group C
Cholet pulled away from Tsmoki-Minsk in the third quarter and secured an 89-71 win that boosts their chances of reaching the Play-Offs, despite starting off the Regular Season on a three-game losing skid.
The French side and the Belarus side are now tied at 2-3 in the Group C standings, but Cholet now own the tiebreaker against both Minsk and AEK (3-2), and are playing host to Holon on the final gameday.
On Tuesday, Cholet and Minsk traded blows for most of the opening half, which saw the lead change hands nine times, but the hosts used a mini-burst just before the interval to jump ahead 46-38.
Yoan Makoundou drilled a triple right before the four-minute mark in the third quarter to make it 56-47 for Cholet and spark a 13-0 run which he capped off himself with a layup 1:12 from the third buzzer.
That basket gave Cholet their biggest lead of the night, 66-47, and while Minsk finally stopped the rot and reduced the deficit to 11 points by the end of the period, they never came any closer than nine points in the final stanza.
Gerry Blakes paved the way for Cholet with 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor and added 4 assists and 3 boards, Makoundou finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds while Gregor Hrovat posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 assists, also adding 6 rebounds. Minsk's Rob Lowery had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in defeat.
Bakken Bears 96-78 Galatasaray -- Group A
Q. J. Peterson poured in a BCL career-high 35 points and Bakken Bears kept alive their dream of reaching the Play-Offs, wiping out Galatasaray's hopes in the process, as they cruised to a 96-78 victory at home.
Bakken opened up a 9-point gap at the end of the first quarter and Adama Darboe hit a triple 6:50 from the second buzzer to cap off a 10-3 run that stretched the Danish lead to 39-23.
With Peterson collecting 19 points already in the first half, when he went 5 for 9 from three-point range, the Bears kept their foot on the gas and a De'Shawn Stephens layup 2:21 from the interval gave the hosts their biggest lead of the night, 55-34.
Galatasaray were unable to bring the deficit back into single digits as Bakken were dominant on the glass, especially offensively, outrebounding their visitors 21 to 7 on that end and scoring 31 second-chance points, compared to the Turkish side's 7 second-chance points.
Peterson had 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals to go with his 35 points while Stephens chipped in with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Daryl Macon finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a losing effort for Galatasaray.
The Danish champions have now improved to 2-3 in the Group A standings and will need to beat Iberostar Tenerife on the final day of Regular Season action in order to advance, although the exact margin of victory they need will only become clear after the Wednesday night clash between the Spanish team and Dinamo Sassari.
Galatasaray on the other hand have dropped to 1-4 on the table and will bid farewell to their maiden BCL campaign with the conclusion of the Regular Season.
Pinar Karsiyaka 80-69 Fortitudo Bologna -- Group F
Pinar Karsiyaka created a comfy cushion early in the second quarter and held off Fortitudo Bologna down the stretch to pick up an 80-69 win that erases the Italian team's last hopes of staying alive in the race for the Play-Offs.
The Turkish team have now improved to 2-2 in the Group F standings and maintain intact their options of advancing to the next stage, while the Italian club which debuted in the BCL this season slides to 0-4.
The two opponents traded blows throughout the opening frame but Semih Erden scored on an Amath M'Baye assist right with the start of the second period and sparked a 15-4 Karsiyaka run.
Sek Henry hit his first of three triples on the night with 4:51 left to the halftime buzzer to cap off the burst and extend the hosts' lead to 34-21.
Fortitudo stopped the rot but it took them a long time to pose any threat of a comeback and they only began the attempt in earnest in the fourth stanza.
Tommaso Baldasso drilled a three-pointer with 1:32 left on the clock to cut the deficit back to four points, 73-69, but Raymar Morgan came up with a big offensive board off a Taylor miss to score with a put-back and M'Baye sealed the deal for Karsiyaka with a jumper 39 seconds from the final buzzer.
Morgan paced the winners with 20 points and 5 rebounds and M'Baye finished with a near double-double of 15 points and 9 assists, while the newly-arrived to Fortitudo Dario Hunt Hunt had a team-high 18 points in defeat.