| Aris BSA 2003 enjoyed a promising start to the Eurocup season by downing BC Azovmash 88-75 at home on Tuesday. P.J. Tucker was a force inside and Dejan Borovnjak came off the bench for a big game to lead the hosts. Aris started strong, had a double-digit gap in the first period and led 40-32 at the break, but Azovmash roared after halftime to tie the game. The hosts, however, never let Azovmash go ahead and despite a strong second half from Ramel Curry, Tucker and Borovnjak were able to lead Aris to the home win. Tucker finished with 28 points for Aris, Borovnjak added 18 and Bryant Dunston and Christos Tapoutos scored 12 and 11, respectively. Dunston also blocked 3 shots for Aris, which travels to Israel to face Hapoel Gilboa next week. Ramel Curry led Azovmash with 22 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Demetrius Alexander – one of four Azovmash players to foul out – posted 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Maksym Pustozvonov added 13 points and Chris Owens 11. Azovmash hosts Cedevita Zagreb in Week 2.
Aris went inside at the start and took a 4-0 lead on baskets from Tapoutos and Dunston before Alexander corralled hiw own miss and tipped it in for Azovmash’s first basket. Dunston and Tucker were sharp as the hosts jumped to a 12-6 lead. Curry scored on the offensive glass, however Aris got a basket-plus-foul from Dunston and soon Tucker scored a second-chance basket to give Aris a double-digit lead, 19-8. Alexander tried to ignite the visitors with a slam and a Pustozvonov triple at the buzzer narrowed the gap to 23-16 after 10 minutes. Oleksandr Skutyelnik added a three to narrow the gap to 6 early in the second quarter, but Borovnjak came in with some energy and scored twice before a Linos Chrysikopoulos triple put Aris back in control at 33-19. Azovmash responded swiftly as Pustozvonov scored 4 and Alexander capped a 0-9 charge with a basket-plus-foul to bring the visitors back. A Dunston slam rescued Aris and after the teams traded baskets, Pierre Pierce’s free throws made it 40-32 at halftime.
Head coach Sergiy Zavalin had his troops fired up for the second half as Azovmash came out red hot and reeled off 8 straight points – half of them from Fred House – and knotted the game at 40-40 on a Pustozvonov layup. Tapoutos worked hard inside to keep the hosts ahead, but Azovmash was back in the game. However Tapoutos and Tucker came together to lead a 9-0 charge as Aris raced back ahead 55-44. But Curry answered the bell for the visitors with 7 points in the last minute of the third quarter to keep his team’s hopes alive, 58-53, with 10 minutes remaining. Curry remained on fire, but Aris had answers on the attack with Borovnjak completing a three-point play and Tucker making a three-pointer. Tucker added a basket-plus-foul to stretch the lead to 69-57. Owens dunked in his own miss and Curry connected from outside, but Borovnjak and Tucker continued pushing Aris forward. Pustozvonov made it a 10-point game midway through the fourth quarter, but fouled out on the next play. Kostas Charalampidis’s first points and a few more from Tucker and Borovnjak helped wrap up the win to the delight of the signing Aris faithful.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010