| BG Goettingen got off to a fine start in its Eurocup debut on Tuesday with an impressive opening 80-88 triumph on the road at Asvel Basket. It was quite the victory for head coach John Patricks’s men, who were led by Dwayne Anderson with 20 points and 8 boards. Asvel was considered to have somewhat of an edge coming into the game, for playing at home and competing for a Euroleague presence in the Qualifying Rounds, but a 30-point, 8-rebound and 4-assist (and 10-turnover) effort by Matt Walsh was not enough for the French Cup holders as Goettingen gutted out an valuable road win, in which Trent Mecham added 15 points and 6 assists and Robert Kulawick and Jason Boone scored 14 apiece. Goettingen heads home to host Besiktas Cola Turka in Week 2. For Asvel Basket, Davon Jefferson posted 16 points and 8 rebounds, Cliff Hammonds had 12 points and 5 assists and Mickael Gelabale finished with 11 points and 8 boards. Asvel next travels to Serbia to play KK Hemofarm.
The start of the game was dialed up from long distance, as Kulawick and Hammonds traded triples in the first minute of play. But Goettingen immediately went to work down low with powerful Boone and athletic Mike Scott attacking the rim and fueling a 0-9 run that set up a dream 3-12 scenario for the visitors. Asvel turned to its new acquisition Walsh for a spark and he was able to deliver much to the delight of the home fans, both hitting from long range and willing himself to the foul line to close the gap to 12-17. Still, the visitors were intent on making a splash in the first and, with a Kulawick jumper and three-pointer, pulled away to finish the quarter ahead 15-28. The cushion seemed good enough for the visitors to settle themselves in the halfcourt offense, but their running style provides for plenty of thrills and Asvel was glad to accept the challenge in the second quarter. Nejbosa Bogavac drew first blood with a triple and Anderson started feeling hot in response as he took matters into his own hands and scored 8 points to make it 25-40 for Goettingen. Just as the visiting side was starting to feel good about itself, the hosts blew the game wide open with Walsh’s court vision and a defensive effort that forced 2 turnovers and hurried shots, leading the way to an 11-0 run. All of a sudden, the 15-point lead had dwindled to 36-40.
Goettingen took good note of Asvel’s credentials after the break, as playmaker Meacham and off guard Kyle Bailey started cooking and moving the ball crisply on offense, leaving Kulawick and Anderson open for consecutive three-point makes, which widened the lead to 49-60. After drilling the outside shots and opening the host’s defense some, Goettingen went to work in the paint, gashing Asvel on penetration layups by Scott, Anderson and Mecham. At the end of the third quarter, it was 57-68 for the visitors and quite the challenge for the Astroballe tenants. Asvel felt in deeper trouble after a Mecham triple at the beginning of the third, but a gritty three-point play by Walsh kept them within an 11-point distance. In for a grind in the trenches, Vincent Collet’s side used its muscle with Davon Jefferson as a trip to the foul line and powerful dunk by the forward made it a two-possession game at 70-75. The crowd was into it and so was Asvel again after Bogavac stole the ball from Scott on his next trip down the floor, but Walsh could not convert the ensuing three-point attempt to put his team within closer reach. Having felt the heat, Goettingen gritted its teeth on defense, forcing a Hammonds offensive foul and Bogavac turnover to seal the deal with an Anderson dunk that made it 70-79 with three minutes left. Both teams traded baskets in the final span, but with Asvel never getting closer than 6 points, thus conceding the upset win to the German side, now standing proud and with high ambitions atop Group B.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010