Fenerbahce Ulker rallied from a 16-point deficit to register its second consecutive win in Group C by downing Chorale Roanne 90-97 on the road in Clermont Ferrand, France, on Wednesday night. Fenerbahce improved to 2-2 in Group C, while Roanne lost its third straight to fall to 1-3. Willie Solomon led the winners with 23 points and 7 assists. Mirsad Turkcan, Damir Kaan and Oguz Savas each added 12 while James “Flight” White and Omer Onan had 10 apiece for Fenerbahce. Marc Salyers led Chorale with 40 points, tying the second-best score in a Euroleague Basketball game ever. Carlton Myers, Kaspars Kambala and the late Alphonso Ford each had 41 points in a single game, while Salyers now ties with Arvydas Macijauskas and Vlado Scepanovic. Adam Hess added 22 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, while Laurent Cazalon had 10 for Roanne, whose usual top scorer Brion Rush was limited to just 3 points. Roanne led 46-30 late in the second quarter, but Fenerbahce got back in the game and used an 0-11 run to take the lead for good, 66-74. Salyers buried 4 triples in the final six minutes, but Turkcan and an incredible Solomon allowed Fenerbahce to escape with a valuable road win.
Solomon fed Semih Erden for a big dunk to get Fenerbahce going, but Salyers answered from downtown for a 3-2 Roanne edge. Onan shined with a driving layup, as Roanne tried to get Salyers and Brion Rush involved. Onan scored again in a quick transition, but Hess buried a triple from the top of the key and soon added a fast-break layup to allow Roanne to regain the lead, 8-6. Rush fed Salyers for a huge alley-oop dunk, but Solomon answered with a three-pointer. Salyers kept pacing Roanne with a floating jumper and a seven-meter triple that boosted the hosts' lead to 15-9. White, Hess and Turkcan turned the game into a three-point shootout, but Salyers took over with a put-back layup, good for a 20-15 Roanne edge. Fenerbahce called timeout after which Erden dunked it again only to see Marc-Antoine Pellin match with a driving layup. Onan drilled one from downtown, but a red-hot Hess matched it at the other end and soon added a second-chance basket to keep Roanne ahead, 27-20. Solomon scored in penetration, however tip-ins by Will Soliman and Salyers allowed Roanne to take a 31-22 edge. A put-back layup by Oguz Savas and a dunk by Pepe Badiane fixed the score at 33-24 at the end of a crazy first quarter.
An outstanding Salyers beat the shot-clock buzzer with a jump hook early in the second quarter before Rasim Basak answered with a put-back layup. Chorale kept its run-and-gun show going. Hess banked in an incredible three-pointer and though Solomon shined with a driving layup, the ever-present Salyers made free throws for a 40-28 Roanne margin. Cazalon and Soliman sot the crowd on fire with back-to-back dunks, as Fenerbahce struggled to score. Gasper Vidmar finally got the visitors going with free throws as Roanne cooled down its offense with Salyers on the bench. However Cazalon scored again for a 46-30 margin. Kaan came off the bench and immediately buried a three-pointer and White added free throws to give the guests some hope at 46-35. Cazalon took over with one from downtown, but Turkcan and Solomon had back-to-back layups to make Roanne call timeout at 49-39. Rush fed Salyers for another alley-oop dunk, which Vidmar erased with a power layup and by the time Kaan buried his second triple, Fener was within 51-45. Vidmar followed foul shots with a layup to cap a 2-14 run, but a three-pointer by clutch shooter Rush allowed Roanne to keep a 54-49 edge at halftime.
Roanne followed its game plan – short possessions and strong defense – after the break, but its shooters were off-target. Meanwhile, White shined with a three-point play and Solomon added a close basket to complete the guests' comeback, 54-54. Kutluay committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Hess, which allowed Salyers to give Roanne some fresh air at 58-54. Turkcan buried a long two-pointer and he and White added a free throw to put Fenerbahce ahead, 58-59. Salyers stayed on fire with more free throws, as Roanne slowly improved its defense. Soliman and Badiane stepped up with foul shots, but Solomon sank a fade-away jumper to keep Fener close. Savas took over with a great move in the low post, while Roanne kept missing open shots with Salyers and Rush resting on the bench. The hosts only scored from the free-throw line, but Fenerbahce missed a good chance to break the game. Even with that, a free throw by Hess and a big triple by Kaan tied the game at 66-66 late in the third quarter. Onen beat the buzzer with a corner three-pointer for a 66-69 Fenerbahce edge after three quarters.
Kaan sank his fourth triple at the start of the final period and Savas added a jump hook that capped an 0-11 run to give Fenerbahce a 66-74 cushion. Salyers stepped up with a seven-meter bomb, however Erden's put-back dunk still kept the guests ahead, 70-76, with eight minutes to go. Solomon fed Savas for an easy basket, but Salyers answered from downtown to keep Roanne in the game, 73-78. Erden hit free throws and Chorale called timeout at 73-80. Salyers took over with his fifth triple and Hess added another one from beyond the arc, as Badiane had back-to-back blocks at the other end, causing the Chorale fans to go crazy. Savas silenced the crowd with free throws, but Salyers dunked it to get within 81-84. Solomon hit foul shots and Savas added a layup for an 81-88 Fenerbahce lead with three minutes remaining. Salyers shined with yet another three-pointer, but Solomon kept leading Fener with another mid-range jumper. Pellin downed a five-meter jumper to get Roanne within 86-90, but Turkcan answered at the other end. Salyers found his 39th and 40th points in the paint, but an unstoppable Solomon sealed the outcome with a three-point play. Cazalon made free throws with 56.5 seconds to go, however Turkcan's jump hook sent his team home with a valuable road win. Fenerbahce Ulker coach Bogdan Tanjevic:
"We played very well for three quarters. We had a disasterous first quarter with no defense at all but Gasper Vidmar played a key role to ignit our comeback in the second period. He helped us with our defense and rebounds as we got back in the game. Then in the third quarter, Semih Erden, Oguz Savas and Damir Kaan took responsibilities, we improved our defense but couldn’t able to control Marc Salyers, who is an excellent athlete and shooter. He kept Roanne in the game as we played much better in the last quarter despite his points. Willie Solomon also did a great job in the last quarter along with Onan. This is a good win for us." Fenerbahce Ulker guard Willie Solomon:
"I think it was a really tough game because of the atmosphere, and also because Chorale Roanne is a really good team. I think they made a great job in the first half but in the second quarter we stepped up defensively. That’s all about transition. We felt confident about winning here and I came up at the end of the game. You have to credit Roanne. They played a really hard match. This is a big win for us. Road wins are always important for the future . I’m going to credit that game to our fans.”
Wednesday, November 14, 2007