2015-16Regular SeasonRound 4
November 04, 2015 CET: 18:00
Local time: 19:00 PALAIS DES SPORTS
Okaro White - Aris Thessaloniki - EC15 (photo AEK - megapress)

Aris holds off Steaua's comeback to go up 3-1 in Group D

Aris Thessaloniki improved to 3-1 in Group D by edging Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 70-66 at home on Wednesday. Aris ties for first place in Group D while Steaua dropped to 1-3. Okaro White led the winners with 15 points. Jake Cohen added 12, including a clutch three-point shot that sealed the outcome with 13 seconds left. Gerald Lee led Steaua with 14 points. Aleksandar Rasic added 12 while Marko Marinovic and Titus Nicoara each had 10 for the guests. Aris led 23-12 after 10 minutes and extended its margin to 42-25 at halftime. Marinovic, Lee and Rasic stepped up for Steaua, allowing the guests to get as close as 50-49 after 30 minutes. A layup by Bill Amis completed Steaua's comeback, 54-55, with 5 minutes left. Steaua led 60-63 but a 7-0 run which Cohen capped with a clutch triple allowed Aris to win the game down the stretch.

Jamelle Hagins got Aris going with free throws and Michalis Pelekanos soon gave the hosts a 4-0 lead. Chris Cooper stepped up with a put-back basket and Nicoara found his first points but White kept Aris ahead, 8-4. Gerald Lee scored down low but Spytos Mourtos had 5 points in a 7-0 run which boosted the hosts' lead to 15-6. Lee scored again but a three-by Theodoros Zaras made it a double-digit game, 18-8. Rasic made free throws and found Lee for another basket but Slaven Cupkovic and Cohen kept Aris way ahead, 23-12, after 10 minutes. Zaras scored again early in the second quarter and Cupkovic added a put-back basket but Nicoara and Denis Ikovlev kept Steaua within 27-17. Cohen kept pacing Aris with consecutive baskets, as the hosts controlled the game with outstanding defense. Meanwhile, White allowed Aris to break the game open, 35-18. White and Rasic exchanged triples and Hagins took over with an alleyoop slam, good for a 40-23 Aris margin. Free throws by Lee, White and Bill Amis fixed the halftime score at 42-25.

Lee, Ikovlev and Marinovic combined for all points in a 0-7 run which brought Steaua back to life, 42-32, right after the break. Pelekanos tried to change things with a three-pointer but Marinovic answered from downtown and Levente Szijarto brought the guests within single digits, 45-37. Marinovic insisted from beyond the arc and Lee soon made it a three-point game, 45-42. Vassilis Xanthopoulos, Cohen and Jerel McNeal made free throws but Ikovlev and Rasic kept Steaua within 50-46. A free throw by Ikovlev and a basket by Amis brought Steaua even closer, 50-49, at the end of the third quarter. White nailed an off-balance turnaround jumper early in the fourth quarter which Rasic matched witha six-meter shot. Hagins scored down low, Rasic buried yet another jumper off the dribble and a layup by Amis completed Steaua's wild comeback, 54-55, with 7 minutes left. Amis finished a three-chance Steaua offense with a jumper that McLean erased at the other end. Nicoara scored down low but back-to-back layups by McLean put Aris back ahead, 60-59. Nicoara hit another up-and-under layup and Lee gave Steaua a 60-63 edge with 3 minutes to go. White hit foul shots and a jumper by Mourtos restored a 64-63 Aris lead with a minute left. A three-pointer by Cohen sealed the outcome, 67-63, with 13 seconds left. Waters hit 3-of-4 free throws in crunch time to keep Aris safe for good.

Protect Humanity - Aris Thessaloniki vs. Steaua CSM Eximbank Bucharest - EC15 (photo Aris)
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Eurocupbasketball.com
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Referees: PEREZ NIZ, MIGUEL ANGEL (ESP), JASEVICIUS, TOMAS (LTU), VAN DEN BROECK, NICK (BEL)
Attendance: 3200 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Aris Thessaloniki2319820
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest12132417
End of Quarter1234
Aris Thessaloniki23425070
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest12254966
Aris Thessaloniki
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 XANTHOPOULOS, VASSILIS 20:25 1 0/1 0/1 1/4 1 2 3 4 1       3 4 5
7 PELEKANOS, MICHALIS 18:14 9 2/5 1/4 2/2       1 1 1 2   1 1 6
8 CUPKOVIC, SLAVEN 6:39 4 2/2     2   2           1   5
9 FLIONIS, DIMITRIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 WHITE, OKARO 27:24 15 4/5 1/2 4/7   4 4     1 2   2 9 22
11 WATERS, DOMINIC 25:43 3 0/1 0/2 3/4   1 1 4   3     3 4 2
13 ZARAS, THEODOROS 12:06 5 1/1 1/3                   1   2
14 HAGINS, JAMELLE 18:46 6 2/6   2/2 1 4 5         1 2 1 5
15 COHEN, JAKE 15:46 12 2/2 2/2 2/2   1 1       2   5 1 11
16 MOURTOS, SPYROS 15:38 7 1/3 1/2 2/2   4 4     2     1 2 7
17 SYMTSAK, VASSILIS 11:25         1   1 1 1 1     1   1
22 McNEAL, JEREL 27:54 8 3/11 0/4 2/2 2 4 6 3 1       3 5 8
Team           1   1               1
Totals 200:00 70 17/37 6/20 18/25 8 20 28 13 4 8 6 1 23 27 75
        45.9% 30% 72%
Head coach: PRIFTIS, DIMITRIOS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PAUL, MIHAIL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 SZIJARTO, LEVENTE 26:57 2 1/1     1 3 4     3     4   -1
8 ROSU, ADRIAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 AMIS, BILL 14:00 7 3/5 0/1 1/2 1 5 6 1       1 4 2 7
14 NICOARA, TITUS 26:00 10 4/7 0/2 2/2   8 8 2 1 1     3 1 13
15 LEE, GERALD 23:05 14 6/12   2/4 2 1 3   1 3   3 5 5 4
19 RASIC, ALEKSANDAR 33:44 12 3/4 1/7 3/4 1 2 3 4 1 3     2 7 14
20 COOPER, CHRIS 16:55 3 1/4   1/2 5 4 9 2   1 1 2 3 1 6
23 POPA, BOGDAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 IKOVLEV, DENIS 27:11 8 2/2 1/4 1/2 1 2 3 2 1 1     3 3 9
41 MARINOVIC, MARKO 32:08 10 0/1 3/7 1/2       4 1 1     3 4 9
55 DRAGUSIN, IONUT DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 66 20/36 5/21 11/18 12 27 39 15 5 14 1 6 27 23 63
        55.6% 23.8% 61.1%
Head coach: SAPERA, HRISTU

Head Coaches

PRIFTIS, DIMITRIOS
Aris Thessaloniki
"I want to congratulate my players for the effort and for the victory. Steaua is a good team and I knew that it would be a tough game. For Lee, this was his first game with Steaua, but he is a really good player and he was affective tonight. All the teams in our group are very strong. We look one game at a time and there should not be very high expectations until the end of the first round, but we are optimistic about the future. The fatigue is a fact, but we have to live with it. I don’t plan an acquisition in the roster."
SAPERA, HRISTU
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest
"We didn’t have balance in our game and we showed two faces. At first half we were not good offensively. In the second half we reacted, we played with passion and power. We could have won, but in the end we didn’t succeed. We proved that we can be competitive in the Eurocup. It was a pleasure to play in this gym with such an atmosphere. Congratulations to Aris for the victory."

Players

COHEN, JAKE
Aris Thessaloniki
"I am really proud of my team, because we reacted and we won. And we did it despite McNeal’s injury in a crucial moment. Many teams would have fallen after such a comeback from the opponent, but we showed mental toughness and we won the game. I’m happy that I made the crucial three-pointer, because I missed a similar shot in the first Eurocup game, against Trabzonspor. "
MARINOVIC, MARKO
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest
"There were two different halves. At first we didn’t play well at all, while in the second we showed that we can play basketball. We made some silly mistakes and we lost the game, even though we had the win in our hands. Congratulations to Aris for the victory."
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