| Aris BSA 2003 improved its chances to reach the Eurocup Quarterfinals in Last 16 Group I by thrashing DKV Joventut 84-54 in Thessaloniki, Greece on Tuesday night. Aris improved to 3-2 and will reach the next round as soon as tomorrow if Alba Berlin (2-2) beats Le Mans (1-3) due to its tie-break advantage against its direct opponents. Meanwhile, Joventut dropped to 3-2 but controls its own destiny in the competition, as it will reach the next round regardless other scores if it beats Alba at home next week. Jeremy Richardson paced the winners with 19 points on 5-of-7 three-pointers. Matt Walsh added 17, Keydren Clark had 16, Andy Betts got 11 while Michalis Kakiouzis contributed 10 for Aris, that held Joventut to its all-time low scoring in European club competitions this decade. Luka Bogdanovic led Joventut with 16 points. A three-pointer by Clay Tucker gave Joventut its last lead, 10-11, midway through the first quarter. A 14-2 run in which Clark and Walsh struck from downtown made it a double-digit game, 24-13, soon after that. Aris boosted its margin to 47-32 at halftime and used a 16-0 run to seal the outcome, 76-43, long before the final buzzer.
Richardson got Aris going with a three-pointer but Kris Valters answered from downtown and Pere Tomas added free throws for a 3-6 Joventut lead. Aris played aggresive in offense, going to the foul line often, as free throws by Walsh and a put-back dunk by Betts gave the hosts a 8-6 edge. Tucker sank a long jumper and soon added a three-pointer to put Joventut back ahead, 10-11. Joventut had entered the foul bonus, however, as Aris tried to make the most out of it. Clark scored in penetration and Betts added free throws to make the guests call timeout at 15-11. Clark capped a 9-0 run with a three-pointer and Walsh soon nailed one from beyond the arch to make it a double-digit game, 24-13. Bogdanovic joined the three-point shootout but a put-back layup by Kakiouzis and a buzzer-beating floating jumper by Clark fixed the score at 28-16 after 10 minutes. Bogdanovic insisted from downtown early in the second quarter but Clark and Kakiouzis shined with consecutive layups for a 32-19 Aris lead. Mario Fernandez tried to ignite Joventut's comeback with an uncontested layup that Clark bettered with a three-point play. Edu Hernandez-Sonseca dunked it and Tomas soon added layup to give Joventut some hope at 37-25. Aris slowed down the game tempo and a big three-pointers by Richardson forced the guests to call timeout at 40-26. Valters sank free throws and soon added a driving layup but Walsh and Demos Dikoudis kept Aris way ahead, 44-30. Aaron Miles scored off a midcourt steal but a tip-in by Alain Koffi brought Joventut within 47-32 at halftime.
Walsh scored down low immediately after the break but a fallaway jumper by Valters gave Joventut some hope at 49-34. Bueno shined with a big block on Betts' dunk attempt and a mid-range jumper but Walsh sank another shot and Richardson added a two-handed dunk for a 17-point Aris lead at 53-36. Bogdanovic buried his third triple but Miles stepped up with a driving layup and Betts added a layup off a spin move in the low post, good for a 57-41 Aris lead. Joventut kept struggling to score and Kakiouzis beat the buzzer with a three-pointer that broke the game open, 60-41. Joventut called timeout and Hernandez-Sonseca sank a turnaround jumper but Aris kept dominating the game with outstanding defense. Meanwhile, Clark and Richardson buried consecutive three-pointers to boost the hosts' lead to 66-43. Free throws by Walsh sealed the outcome, 69-43, at the end of the third quarter. Richardson nailed his fourth three-pointer early in the fourth quarter, as Joventut was scoreless for 3 minutes. Richardson shined again with a backdoor layup and a tip-in by Kakiouzis capped a mamooth 16-0 run that made it a 33-point game, 76-43. Everything was said and done, already, as all Aris fans were celebrating a big home win. Meanwhile, Joventut must bounce back right away for its do-or-die game against Alba next week.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010