SLUC Nancy defeat Caja Laboral 90-85
SLUC Nancy picked up its second victory of the season and handed Caja Laboral its first loss with a 90-85 decision in a thrilling back-and-forth Group A encounter. Akin Akingbala scored 26 points to lead Nancy in scoring while Nicolas Batum collected 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists as Nancy improved to 2-2. Pape Philippe Amagou added 16 points and Adrien Moerman chipped in 13 points for the winners. Caja Laboral, who were facing Nancy for the first time since 1997, dropped to 3-1 despite 24 points from Mirza Teletovic, 19 points by Fernando San Emeterio and 12 from Kevin Seraphin.
Akingbala started the scoring with an inside basket and converted a three-point play. Brad Oleson answered right back with a two three-pointers and Teletovic hit a tough jumper to put Caja Laboral ahead 5-8. Akingbala made a jump hook and dunk before Richard Dorsey’s basket in the paint gave the guests the lead back 9-10. Akingbala continued his superb play with two more baskets – the second a three-point play for a 14-10 Nancy advantage. Teletovic came back at the other end with back-to-back triples for a 14-16 Laboral lead. Nancy continued to get easy baskets as Batum dunked his own miss and Moerman grabbed a steal and breakaway dunk for an 18-16 lead. San Emeterio and Teletovic both scored to even the game at 20-20 but Laboral would not score the rest of the first quarter. Akingbala hit a three-point play – to increase his total to 15 points in the first period – and Amagou made two free throws and a three-pointer for a 28-20 Nancy lead after 10 minutes – the biggest lead of the game thus far.
Milko Bljeca opened the second quarter with a layup to cut the margin to 28-22. Akingbala’s free throw and a three-point play by Amagou increased the Nancy cushion to 10 points – 32-22. San Emeterio was unfazed, answering with back-to-back three-pointers from the left corner and right wing to bring Laboral within 32-28. The Nancy advantage was again down to four points – 34-30 – following Reggie Williams’s driving lay-up but Moerman nailed a three-ball and then hit a tough lay-up to extend the lead back to 39-30. Laboral would not go away with Seraphin sandwiching two dunks around a long Williams jumper to get back to within 39-36. Abdel Kader Sylla got a tip-in and free throw for Nancy but watched as Pau Ribas’s triple made it 42-39. Amagou’s three-ball from the left wing would give Nancy a 47-41 lead before San Emeterio’s jumper in the lane and Teletovic’s lay-up made it 47-45. But the Bosnian international Teletovic missed his and-one free throw and chance to cut the margin to 1. And Batum and Oelson each hit free throws for the halftime score 49-47.
Shuler started the scoring in the second half with a rainbow jumper but a San Emeterio lay-up and Teletovic triple gave Laboral the lead 51-52. Batum and San Emeterio swapped triples and then Akingbala continued his great night with two jump hooks for a 58-55 Nancy lead. The guests punched right back with a Seraphin spin move and dunk and a Teletovic throw-down for a 58-59 lead. After four lead changes – the fourth on a Pablo Prigioni three – John Linehan nailed a three-pointer for a 65-64 Nancy lead. Batum followed with a triple from the left corner and Akingbala dunked yet again for a 70-64 margin after three quarters.
Linehan pushed the gap to 72-64 with a steal and basket in transition to open the fourth quarter with Teletovic responding with a triple. But Akingbala dunked again and Linehan nailed a long jumper as the Nancy cushion was nine points again – 76-67. Caja Laboral scored three straight baskets – all inside by Ribas, San Emeterio and Williams – to climb back within 76-73 with five minutes left. The margin was back to nine points less than two minutes later after two jumpers by Moerman and two Batum free throws to make it 82-73. A Laboral timeout did not help as Batum hit a driving layup for the biggest lead – 84-73 with less than three minutes to play. Ribas converted a break-away layup to stop an 8-0 run and then Ribas hit a jumper to pull back within 84-77. Teletovic would not let his team die and nailed a triple to make it a two-possession game, 86-80. After Batum made one of two free throws with 52 seconds left, Teletovic also made just one of two foul shots before Amagou put the nail in the coffin with a three-pointer from the left corner to make it 90-81 with 26 seconds left. Seraphin and San Emeterio hit to close the gap, but the game was already decided.
Thursday, November 10, 2011