Besiktas grind out overtime victory at battling Aris
THESSALONIKI (Basketball Champions League) - Besiktas climbed back into first place in Group D and damaged the Play-Off hopes of Aris by winning their battle in Greece on Wednesday night in overtime, 72-65.
The Turkish club, already assured of a spot in the Round of 16, won for the ninth time in 12 rounds and now have a one-game lead over CEZ Nymburk.
Aris slumped to 4-8 and remained rooted at the bottom of the group with two games still to come.
In a contest that was tight for most of regulation, Aris had Lefteris Bochoridis at the line with 13 seconds to go and trailing 59-58. The point guard missed his first attempt but sank the second to knot the game.
Besiktas then had a chance to go for the winner, only for Josh Adams to wrap his left arm around the leg of Bryce Douvier as he drove in for the potential go-ahead basket. The offensive foul gave the ball back to the Greek team.
Aris had just under 6 seconds to get a shot off and inbounded the ball towards the basket from the left sideline but it glanced off the rim and in a mad scramble, Besiktas gained possession.
We didn't play our best but at the end of the day, we came here to win and we won. We have to learn from our mistakes. We need to share the ball, play as a team. Normally we have 20 or more assists and today, only 12.
DJ Strawberry, who had 15 points, struggled to pick the ball up near mid-court and his heave was off the mark as the final buzzer sounded.
In the overtime, Aris struggled to score and Besiktas, after missing some free-throws, finally got big shots to fall from Earl Clark and Strawberry and they held on for the win.
Kyle Weems was outstanding, particularly on defense in the second half, and finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
"They played very tough," Weems said of Aris, "very physical and well on their home court and they showed a lot of heart and character.
"We didn't play our best but at the end of the day, we came here to win and we won. We have to learn from our mistakes. We need to share the ball, play as a team. Normally we have 20 or more assists and today, only 12.
"We'll watch video tomorrow, try to get better and get ready for the next game on Saturday in the Turkish league."