Barcelona rebounded from their two recent home defeats in the Euroleague to win 99-67 at London Towers, and in doing so, send the Towers to an 0-4 record in Group B. Barcelona scored the first seven points of the game and led 20-11 at the end of the first quarter, with Efhimis Rentzias in the middle of a rich vein of form that saw him score his 12 first-half points on either side of the first-quarter break. Towers stayed in touch through the scoring of guard Bret Eppehimer and the sterling work of England international Silas Cheung, an effort that was especially needed because John White and Terrell Myers both struck early foul trouble. Barcelona led 42-37 at the interval, but then started the second half with a 12-5 spurt ignited by threes from Juan Carlos Navarro and Nacho Rodriguez. Towards the end of the quarter, the Catalans struck again, this time through Okulaja, Rentzias and De La Fuente, to take a 20-point lead (66-46) with 11 minutes remaining and effectively put the game beyond Towers' reach. Eppehimer led the Towers' scorers with 23 poits, the only player to crack double figures. Ademola Okulaja, Arturas Karnisovas and Efthimios Rentzias took advantage of poor defensive rebounding by the Towers to take 18 points each.
Barcelona got out of the blocks quickly, scoring the first 7 points of the game, including a three from Sarunas Jasikevicius, before Towers stopped the rot with a pair of Jeff Kent free throws. Barcelona led 5-12 before Terrell Myers and Silas Cheung got Towers running. Three baskets from Efthimis Rentzias in the last four minutes gave Barca the lead, 11-20 at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, that lead dropped steadily to 37-42 after Towers produced a spirited effort to win the second quarter 26-22 with the aid of 12 points from point guard Brett Eppehimer. With scoring guards John White and Terrell Myers both struggling with foul trouble, Eppehimer and Silas Cheung steered the ship admirably. Still a problem for the Towers, though, is the number of offensive rebounds they are allowing. Most of Rentzias' 12 points by then had come from tip-ins and Arturas Karnisovas (8 points) and Adeola Okulaja (8) had also benefited. Towers have yet to lead in the game, but have twice cut a one-time Barca lead of 20-9 down to three points.
Barcelona broke the game open with a 12-5 start to the third quarter, with threes from Navarro and Rodriguez and a pair of baskets from Okulaja. As Towers began to wilt, Barca turned the screw with a 10-0 run which gave them a 20-point lead, 66-46, with a minute to go in the third quarter, which Barcelona won 28-13.
Thursday, November 1, 2001