| Asefa Estudiantes roared into the Last 16 in dominating fashion on Tuesday, blowing out winless Chorale Roanne 87-60 at home in Madrid while getting help in another game to finish second in Group F. After its own victory, Estudiantes (3-3) needed group leader Benetton to stop visiting PAOK, which happened some minutes later, with a 7-1 finishing run in Treviso. PAOK finished 3-3 also, but Estudiantes won their head-to-head tie from having won by more points in the victories they split. Against Roanne, the scores for Estudiantes took turns establishing and keeping big leads, which were only threatened briefly in the second quarter, when the visitos closed within 43-39. By early in the third quarter, in which Josh Asselin scored all of his 14 points, the lead was back to double-digits for good. Hernan Jasen led the winners with 18 points, while Sergio Sanchez added 11 and Daniel Clark 10. Roanne got 13 points from Dylan Clark, but otherwise was limited to 12 or fewer points in three quarters.
Nik Caner-Medley's early three-pointer, dunk and layup launched Estudiantes to a 11-2 start. Although Phillippe Braud tried to answer for Roanne with 5 points in a row, Jasen was picking up the rhythm for the hosts with 3 layups in a row. When his fourth came with a free throw that he, of course, made, Jasen had Estudiantes ahead by 20-8. A triple from Tyrone Ellis supplied the high lead next, but Roanne was able to trim the difference to 23-12 after 10 minutes. Triples by Jasen and Clark stretched the lead to 29-14 before Jean-Michel Mipoka answered from downtown, starting a Roanne reaction of 6-10 that ended with his layup at 35-24. Clark and Sergio Sanchez struck from downtown again for Estudiantes, but Page matched them and added another three-point strike - 3 in as many minutes - to pull Roanne within 43-39. German Gabriel stopped the bleeding for Estudiantes, also from the arc, and Jayson Granger ended the half with a layup to restore a 48-39 advantage for the hosts.
More offensive punch came from Asselin, whose 6 quick points after halftime returned the Estudiantes lead to double digits. Asselin kept going until he had another layup and a dunk for 10 points and his team was safely ahead 59-46. A layup by Jiri Welsch matched the first half's largest lead, and then Asselin slammed again for the highest of the game yet, 63-46. Alexis Tanghe lowered the difference with a triple for Roanne, but Asselin's free throws to close the quarter gave him 14 points and Estudiantes a commanding 69-51 advantage. Gabriel, Clark, Albert Oliver and Sanchez - the last two from downtown - exploded the difference to 80-53 to start the final quarter. For the home team and its fans, the only question left was whether Benetton could knock off visiting PAOK in what was a close game throughout. But when that happened, Estudiantes was through to the Last 16.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010