In the face of injury, Galatasaray rises to the occasion!
Shaking off injuries that have sidelined four of its top players in the last month, Galatasaray Liv Hospital won a battle of pride 84-74 over visiting FC Bayern Munich to close the first half of the regular season. The victory left both teams with 3-2 records, tied for second place in Group C. Galatasaray came out strong and led by as many as 18 points early in the second half, but Lucca Staiger of Bayern buried 2 three-point shots within 11 seconds to make it a 74-70 game with 1:40 left. Carlos Arroyo matched those shots in the final minute, however, letting the spirited Galatasaray fans enjoy a victory at the end of a week in which Erwin Dudley and Jamont Gordon joined both Nate Jawai and Manuchar Markoishvili on the team's long-term injury list. One of their replacements, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, was spectacular for Galatasaray, finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Arroyo followed with 18 points on 6-for-9 three-point shooting and 6 assists. Ender Arslan added 14 points off the bench, Cenk Akylol 11 and Henry Domercant 10 for the winners, who also got 10 rebounds from Milan Macvan. Bayern had one double-digit scorer, Chevon Troutman with 15 points, while the Galatasaray defense held Malcolm Delany to 6, which was 11 below his team-leading average.
First quarter: The Carlos and Pops show!
In a sign of things to come, Arroyo and Mensah-Bonsu connected for a power slam to start the scoring. Bryce Taylor's tip-in and an easy driving layup by Delaney put Bayern in front briefly 3-4. But Arroyo found a three-pointer and Mensah-Bonsu another dunk as Galatasaray went back ahead. Lucca Staiger took back 2 points with a quick jumper, but Arroyo struck again from downtown to make it 10-6 for the hosts. Mensah-Bonsu slammed home an offensive rebound before Arroyo buried his third triple on the break as Galatasaray suddenly led 15-6, forcing a Bayern timeout. John Bryant came off the bench to put back a rebound before Taylor stole and dunked to steady the visitors. Akyol answered with a triple and Huseyin Koksal finished a break to double Bayern on the scoreboard, 20-10, before Arroyo and Mensah-Bonsu connected on another pair of pick-and-roll alley-oops and the lead reached 24-13. Robin Benzing hit a jumper for Bayern but Mensah-Bonsu was unstoppable, scoring again for his 12th point in less than 10 minutes. Akyol still had time for a three-pointer as Galatasaray seemed to forget its injury woes away with a 29-15 lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Galatasaray bench extends lead
Troutman's free throws and a basket by Yassin Idbihi re-started Bayern in the second quarter, while Akyol popped a shorter jumper for Galatasaray at 31-19. Nihad Djedovic drove for Bayern to end a couple of scoreless minutes, but Macvan got those 2 points back, plus an additional free throw, on his put-back for Galatasaray. When Domercant got his first points on a runner and Arslan split the Bayern defense, Galatasaray suddenly had its high lead, 38-22. Bayern got a much-needed fastbreak dunk from Boris Savovic, but left Domercant open for a triple. Savovic got 2 put-backs for Bayern but Mensah-Bonsu and Arslan negated those with 2 free throws each. Mensah-Bonsu finished his spectacular half with a put-back but fouled Delaney, who hit both his free throws, leaving a 47-30 score at halftime.
Third quarter: Troutman keeps up fight for Bayern
Deon Thompson got Bayern's scoreboard re-started and Savovic added a nice reverse to quickly trim the difference to 47-24. Mensah-Bonsu resumed his point collection and Sinan Guler joined him in the scoring column as Galatasaray staked the game's newest high lead, 52-34. Troutman steadied Bayern with a corner triple then, but Macvan fed Akyol for the same shot. Mensah-Bonsu committed his fourth foul and had to take a seat as Troutman made both free throws and Bayern went inside to Idbihi to lower the difference to 55-41. Guler answered with a layup that Troutman equaled with a reverse. A lull in scoring ended with Djedovic getting 2 baskets around free throws and a baseline runner by Arslan. Troutman added another basket for Bayern to pull within 61-49 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Arslan, Arroyo halt Bayern rally
Arroyo buried a triple in transition to open the final quarter before Heiko Schaffartzik dropped a tough jumper and a three-pointer, making it a 10-point game again, 64-54. Enter Arslan, who settled down the hosts with a jumper then fed Domercant for a three-pointer at 69-56. After a timeout, Troutman's next basket was met with free throws by Zoran Erceg that Schaffartzik matched for a 71-60 scoreboard with under 5 minutes left. But when Troutman put back a miss, Bayern was within single digits for the first time in the second half. Thompson made it even closer, 71-64, with a transition basket as Galatasaray's shooting went cold, but a great save by Domercant led to Arslan burying a triple just under the 2-minute mark to make the Galatasaray crowd roar. Staiger silenced that crowd in a big way, however. After his three-pointer out of a timeout and a Galatasaray turnover, Staiger buried a second shot from the arc in 11 seconds for a sudden 74-70 difference with 1:40 to play. Arslan got to the foul line to make 1 of 2 shots, then Bayern missed 3 scoring opportunities going into the final minute. With 39 seconds left, Arroyo made the visitors pay with a straight-up triple, and at 15 seconds, he added another for good measure as Galatasaray secured a big victory in the name of its wounded comrades at home.
Friday, November 15, 2013