| Fenerbahce Ulker fought off an amazing Asvel Basket comeback to earn a 76-78 overtime win on Wednesday at the Astroballe in Lyon, France. Terence Kinsey matched his uniform number with a career-high 21 points, while Emir Preldzic shined in the extra session for the winners. FB Ulker improved to 1-1 in Group A and will host Cibona next week. Asvel, which was without starting center Curtis Borchardt, got a monster game of 29 points and 13 rebounds from Ali Traore, but it was not enough to avoid a defeat and a 0-2 record. Asvel hosts Montepaschi Siena next week. FB Ulker led by 9 entering the fourth quarter, but Asvel went on a 10-0 charge and set up an exciting finish that featured three lead changes and four ties down the stretch. Omer Asik’s slam with 5.4 seconds left tied the score at 64-64 and when Ben Dewar missed from downtown at the buzzer, the teams readied for overtime. Preldzic put the visitors in control, but some late threes gave Asvel hope. But down 3 with 8 seconds to play, the pass went in to Traore, who scored and did not leave enough time for his team to get the ball back. Asik finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for FB Ulker, Preldzic scored 11 and Omer Onan 10. Bobby Dixon finished with 19 points and 5 assists for Asvel.
The visitors won the opening tip and Gordan Giricek scored the first basket for Fenerbahce Ulker. A Kinsey steal led to an Asik layup. Traore threw down a slam-plus-foul to get Asvel on the scoreboard and Mindaugas Lukauskis went right through the FB Ulker defense to put the hosts on top. Dixon made it 8-4 with a triple. Asik countered on the offensive glass, but Traore did the same. Kinsey came through with a pair of baskets, but Dixon fed Traore to keep Asvel ahead. Kinsey tied the scored at 12-12 from the line and that’s how the opening quarter ended.
Kinsey banked in a triple one minute into the second quarter and Preldzic swished another, causing Asvel head coach Vincent Colllet to use a timeout. Dixon came back in and Traore scored Asvel’s first basket of the quarter, but Oguz Savas and Onan pushed FB Ulker to an 8-point lead. Traore remained Asvel’s main man with a scoop and a mid-range jumper, but took a seat after committing his second foul. Savas was called for an unsportsmalike foul trying to stop Kristjan Kangur, whose free throws brought Asvel within 20-23. The visitors came right back by feeding Asik in the paint. Asik rejected Bangaly Fofana, but after a timeout, Aymeric Jeanneau scored for Asvel. Willie Solomon hit from the line for his first points before Ben Dewar ended the half at 24-29.
Fenerbahce Ulker reclaimed the momentum at the onset of the second half, as Semih Erden and Omer Asik made noise inside and Onan and Kinsey hit from downtown during a 2-10 charge that increased their lead to 13. After a timeout, Dixon made a wild triple from the corner, but Kinsey answered in style to keep his team in control. Eric Campbell’s follow layup did not prevent Asik from making it 31-45 from the line. Dixon responded with anther triple and Fofana came up with a big block on Erden to ignite the home crowd. Dixon added a jumper, but Campbell’s fourth foul put a damper on Asvel’s plans. However Fofana’s second-chance slam and a Dixon layup kept Asvel in the game, though FB Ulker countered with another Kinsey triple. Another Fofana follow-slam made it 44-52, but he picked up his third foul on the next play. Lynn Greer put the visitors up 46-55 after three quarters.
Traore regained his touch with a pair of baskets to start the fourth quarter, bringing the home team within 5. The momentum stayed green as Traore carved through the FB Ulker defense for a layup and Dixon stripped Greer for a layup. Laurent Foirest had a chance to give Asvel its first lead since the opening minutes, but missed from downtown. However another Fener turnover led to a Lukauskis dish for a one-handed Traore slam to complete a 10-0 charge. Lynn quickly restored his team’s lead with a basket-plus-foul, but an unstoppable Traore tied the score at 58-58. Preldzic broke the tie with a pair of free throws, however Traore found Campbell for a jumper in the corner. Traore made it 62-60 only to see Preldszic match him. Lukauskis found a cutting Campbell with 55.5 seconds left and after Greer missed from downtown and Dixon lost the ball, Preldzic fed Asik for a slam to make it 64-64 with 5.4 seconds to play in regulation. Ben Dewar’s game-winning three attempt at the buzzer was offline and the teams readied for overtime.
Preldzic took over early in the extra session, scoring twice from the line and clearing the way for an Erden layup. Traore was called for traveling, but Dixon ignited the Asvel attack with a short jumper and then fed Traore for a layup to tie it at 68-68. Greer put the visitors ahead from the line, but a missed shot from Campbell and a Lukauskis turnover foiled Asvel’s hopes as Kinsey’s layup made it 68-72 with 56 seconds left. Kangur dropped the inbounds pass and Preldzic raced downcourt before drawing a foul and sinking 2 free throws with 38.4 seconds to go. Lukauskis left the hosts a chance when he sank a triple with 30.8 seconds to go. Greer was fouled, but only made 1. Then Kangur drilled a three with 9.7 ticks remaining. Kinsey made a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left, but Asvel, down by 3, curiously had Lukauskis pass to Traore inside with 1.7 seconds left and Fenerbahce Ulker took advantage to grab the win.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009