Boungou-Colo shines as Limoges wins at Cedevita
Limoges CSP led for almost the entire game in beating Cedevita Zagreb 80-84 on Thursday night in the Croatian capital. The French champs improved to 1-1 in Group B, spoiling Cedevita’s home opener at Arena Drazen Petrovic Zagreb, on the night the one and only Croatian great, the late Drazen Petrovic would have celebrated his 51st birthday. Limoges hit 8 triples in the first half and held a 32-44 lead, but Jacob Pullen fueled Cedevita’s rally at the start of the second half. However, the visitors did not relinquish the lead until a Pullen layup 63 seconds before the end, but Nobel Boungou-Colo scored a key tip-in and then sealed the outcome with free throws in the final seconds. Boungou-Colo finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, and Leo Westermann also scored 15 in victory. Will Daniels scored 12 of his 14 points in the opening quarter, and Heiko Schaffartzik netted 12, on 4-for-7 three-point shooting, and dished 7 assists. Ali Traore chipped in with 10 for Limoges. Pullen scored a career-high 21 for the hosts, Miro Bilan had 19 points and 9 rebounds, while James White scored 17 in defeat.
First quarter: Westermann and Daniels on fire from downtown
A corner triple from Daniels started the scoring for Limoges, and after Bilan scored a put-back on the other end, Westermann nailed a triple to make it 2-6. Bilan and Traore traded baskets inside, before White hit a jumper and then White finished a Luka Babic fast break with a layup to tie it at 8-8. Westermann and Babic traded three-pointers, and Bilan scored a fastbreak layup giving Cedevita its first lead, 13-11. Points continued to come in bunches, without many defensive stops. Daniels nailed another corner triple, and after Marko Arapovic made a reverse layup for the hosts, Westermann banked in his third triple in the opening five minutes for a 15-17 edge. Daniels followed it up with a layup in traffic, and after a timeout, Frejus Zerbo scored inside before Daniels added a jumper and a pair of free throws for a 10-point gap. Cedevita was without a single basket for almost four minutes before Zganec scored a layup to snap 0-11 run, and Bilan added a tough contested layup in the final 25 seconds, but missed the additional free throw, leaving it at 19-27 at the end of first quarter.
Second quarter: Strong finish of the half for Limoges
After a high-scoring start to the game, it took the teams almost two minutes to score the first points of the second quarter when Bilan split foul shots. Cedevita dominated the offensive glass, and Babic nailed a jumper to get within 22-27. Schaffartzik and Pullen traded triples, before Mark Payne hit a short jumper. White's triple cut the deficit to 4 points, but after a timeout, Randy Culpepper answered with one of his own from long range. Bilan knocked down a long baseline jumper, but Zerbo made a jump shot of his own for Limoges to lead 30-37, sparking another run for the visitors. This time, Boungou-Colo was the main protagonist, driving the baseline for a big dunk, then adding a put-back to the tally. After a Cedevita timeout, Bilan made free throws, but Schaffartzik extended the visitors’ run with another three-pointer. Limoges kept the hosts without a field goal for more than five minutes to finish the first half, and went into halftime with a 32-44 lead.
Third quarter: Pullen fuels Cedevita rally
Pullen wasted no time after the break to get Cedevita back into the game. He opened the quarter with a three-point play, then had a steal and raced for a fast break layup, before sinking a triple. A Babic fastbreak layup capped a 10-0 run in less than two minutes to get within 42-44. The hosts held Limoges without a basket for almost dour minutes before Daniels ended the drought. Traore banked in a shot that made it 43-48. Babic and White scored for the hosts, and after Culpepper buried a long jumper, however White and Karlo Zganec cut the deficit to 51-52. But in the final two minutes of the quarter, Limoges replied with back-to-back big dunks. First, Daniels fed Traore for an easy slam, then Payne led a breakaway and dished it for a Boungou-Colo dunk and a 51-56 cushion. Culpepper nailed jumper off the dribble to extend the margin to 8, but Tomislav Zubcic hit a corner triple as time expired to make it 54-59.
Fourth quarter: Boungou-Colo saves Limoges
After Traore and Gordic traded baskets, Boungou-Colo hit a wide-open triple in transition to open a 56-64 advantage. Bilan remained a force inside, grabbing an offensive board and then finishing with a reverse layup, but Westermann hit a triple and added free throws to make it 60-69. But Bilan hit foul shots of his own, then dished a bounce pass for a White layup. After Zerbo displayed a soft touch from close range, Pullen had a steal and a fastbreak layup and fed Pilepic for a corner triple to close within 1. After a timeout, Schaffartzik answered with a triple off the glass and after White made a jumper for the hosts. Schaffartzik nailed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer for a 72-77 lead, which resulted in a Cedevita timeout. Pullen scored a driving layup, and after Bilan made free throws. Then Pullen used a trick on an inbounds play, using an opponent’s back to pass the ball to himself and score a layup that gave Cedevita the lead with 63 second to go, 78-77. But Boungou-Colo came to the visitors’ rescue with a tip-in on the ensuing trip down the floor, and then the same player secured a defensive rebound and made both free throws. Pullen drove the length of the court to make it 80-81 with only 21.3 seconds on the clock, but after Westermann only split fouls shots, Zubcic took an ill-advised triple that allowed Boungou-Colo to seal the deal with free throws 9.7 seconds before the final buzzer.
Thursday, October 22, 2015