| Banvit BK moved into the thick of the Group A race for the Last 16 on Tuesday when it downed visiting EWE Baskets Oldenburg 81-72 at home in Bandirma, Turkey. Banvit improved to 2-2 in Group A and leapfrogged the German side into a tie for second place. Oldenburg dropped to 1-3 and fourth place, but still retains its Top 16 chances, though slim. Banvit scored 1 more foul shot than Oldenburg despite enjoying 10 fewer attempts, and made 65% of its two-point tries to earn the victory. A well-balanced attack saw four Banvit players score in double figures. Antonio Graves led the way with 14 points while Ibrahim Yildirim scored 13, Keith Simmons and Lance Williams 12 each. Oldenburg had big nights from center Aron Baynes and guard Rickey Paulding, with 21 points each plus 8 rebounds for the big man, but no other player reached double-digit scoring numbers.
Oldenburg head coach Predrag Krunic's men came out firing away from three-point territory, but missed 5 of 6 attemtps in the opening quarter. With Banvit going inside, it was a battle of styles, and Vladimir Golubovic was involved right off the bat with 4 quick points in the paint for the hosts. Simmons paced Banvit early with close range baskets and jumpers, while Paulding was the only player to score a triple in the opening quarter. The second quarter was a back-and-forth scrum, as both teams traded lead changes but neither could grab more than a three-point point difference through 17 minutes. Center Oliver Stevic was scoring consistently in the paint after offensive rebounds for Oldenburg, closing the gap to 27-26, but a 14-5 response by Banvit, with a triple among 5 points by guard Antonio Graves, left the Turkish hosts up 41-31 at the half.
Mindaugas Lukauskis got going after halftime with a jumper for Oldenburg. but But it was big man Baynes who carried the visitors with an ample repertoire of post moves in his trench battle with Lance Williams. Banvit kept plowing inside with Chuck Davis, although it was a pair of triples by Yildirim that pushed the lead to 51-43 score. Oldenburg tried to speed the pace up some at the end of the quarter following a Louis Campbell triple with his free throw on an unsportsmanlike foul to end the quarter 60-53. Banvit never lost focus, however, as the final quarter started off with a Yildirim triple, a two-pointer by Ermis and another three-pointer by Mutlu Akpinar. The 8-0 run was momentum changer even though Paulding answered with 5 straight points of his own on a triple and a layup. Golubovic got his first basket since the opening quarter, and then another Paulding triple and Robin Smeulders's first 2 points closed the gap to 70-64. With the hosts playing tough defense, only Paulding and Baynes scored baskets from then on: a triple by the guard and jumper by the center. Not enough, ultimately, against a Banvit squad that played solid throughout to keep the victory at home for its fans.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010