Seven takeaways from Wednesday: Harding's dagger eliminates Bahcesehir
MIES (Switzerland) - BAXI Manresa's star guard Jerrick Harding made the biggest shot of the day on Wednesday, knocking down a game-winning three-pointer to throw Bahcesehir College out of the hunt for a Quarter-Finals ticket.
Meanwhile, Telekom Baskets Bonn won their ninth straight game in the Basketball Champions League, while SIG Strasbourg completed a sweep over their compatriots. Read all about it in another edition of our Seven takeaways:
#1 It's a Weber State thing
Bahcesehir College knew they had to win the game against BAXI Manresa to stay alive in the Round of 16, and it certainly seemed like they would pull it off when Jaka Blazic knocked down a go-ahead triple in the final minute.
But, Manresa's Pedro Martinez had other ideas. The reigning BCL Coach of the Year drew up a fabulous play to get a good look to his best scorer. Jerrick Harding said "thank you," and proceeded to knock down a deep three-pointer to gift his team a 77-76 road win.
View this post on Instagram
It crowned Harding's amazing game, which saw him get 22 points in 22 minutes on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Weber State's all-time leading scorer also made all nine of his free throws, playing a nearly perfect game, especially after the break.
Hitting big shots in the clutch must be a Weber State thing. It wasn't as deep as Damian Lillard's bombs, but still, they must have a clutch course over there at the university.
#2 Big Jerry flirting with records
Bahcesehir tried going to Jerry Boutsiele on their final possession, but the pass was too low and ended up as a kicked ball. That gave the hosts another chance with a baseline out of bounds play.
They found Jamar Smith, he lost the defender with a nasty pump fake and went for the usual Jamar Smith medicine, a step back three from the exact same spot where he hit a game winner against Igokea m:tel in the first game of the season.
This one bounced out, meaning BKSK are down at 0-4 and cannot finish among the top two in the group. It also means Jerry Boutsiele will not be in the running for the MVP of the Season, even though he had another performance at that level.
The center finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks, giving him an efficiency rating of 38 - fourth best of the BCL season, just nine points behind the all-time mark set by Steven Gray.
We're going to miss him in elimination games, for sure.
|1||Telekom Baskets Bonn *||4||4||0||100||346||288||58||86.5||72||8|
#3 Double win for Strasbourg
Back when this competition started, SIG Strasbourg were known as one of the toughest home teams in the BCL. They won their first five games...and then waited for seven years to have a similar run again.
With an 86-67 win over JDA Bourgogne Dijon, Strasbourg stringed together five straight home wins in the BCL, tying their longest winning run set back in 2016-17.
It was also their largest win at home since January 2022, when they blew out PAOK by 27, and they held JDA Bourgogne Dijon to just 12 defensive rebounds, a BCL season-low.
Coach Luca Banchi can now celebrate a double win, because his guys are 2-0 against Dijon this season, meaning they own the tiebreaker, meaning they are an inch away from the Quarter-Finals, because they effectively own a two-game lead over Dijon with two games to play.
|1||Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem||4||3||1||75.0||300||292||8||75||73||7|
|3||JDA Bourgogne Dijon||4||2||2||50.0||312||329||-17||78||82.2||6|
|4||Hapoel Atsmon Holon||4||0||4||0||319||343||-24||79.8||85.8||4|
#4 Tim Frazier will fit in
As if anybody doubted it... The newest addition had 15 points and 7 rebounds for Strasbourg, with his only assist of the game also being the best play of the game. With him in the lineup, Strasbourg have another creator next to Marcus Keene, and the two of them ended up with 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 7-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Major upgrade for SIG in the middle of the Round of 16.
#5 Hawkins is back
Javontae Hawkins also needed a change of scenery during the break. He left Limoges CSP and went back to Telekom Baskets Bonn, his former club, to find some of that form that saw him average 15.4 points per game last season. Oh, and he had 16.4 points per game in 2019-20, playing under coach Tuomas Iisalo in HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim.
That all means he knows what to do, how to do it and when to do it. He came off the bench and counted to 20 points on the night, leading Telekom Baskets Bonn to a 99-72 win over Rytas Vilnius.
He needed one game to get to 20 with Bonn. He did it only once in 12 games with Limoges, even though he was a starter over there, and is coming off the bench over here.
A hawk - a bird of prey of the family Accipitridae 🐦— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) March 8, 2023
A Hawkins - a bird of prey of the family #Heartberg 💗@TeamTae23 gets 20pts in 20min in his comeback game in @TelekomBaskets' jersey! #BasketballCL pic.twitter.com/AdPkxhNZwb
#6 Rytas chasing Manresa
With Bahcesehir out and Bonn in, we've got a 1v1 situation in Group J for the other Quarter-Finals ticket. Rytas are down at 1-3, while Manresa own a 3-1 record.
Meaning, Manresa would be through if they win one of their last two games, against Rytas and Bonn.
And, even if they lose both of them, they could still advance, because we now know that Rytas have to chase a 13-point gap to get the tiebreaker over Manresa if they both finish at 3-3.
But first, the Lithuanian champions have to travel to Istanbul to face Bahcesehir next week, while Manresa are also on the road in Bonn.
#7 Two could be three
Lenovo Tenerife and Telekom Baskets Bonn have advanced to the Quarter-Finals already, and they could get company already this week. That's because Galatasaray Nef and Unicaja are playing on Thursday, their second matchup in 48 hours, with Unicaja searching for a ticket to the elite eight.
Unicaja are up at 3-0, AEK are 3-1, Galatasaray 1-2, while Limoges CSP are still without a win in four games. A win for Unicaja would put them out of Limoges and Galatasaray's reach with two games left to play in the Round of 16.
Tip-off is at 18:00 CET.