| Galatasaray CafeCrown advanced to the Eurocup Last 16 on Tuesday after taking an 87-80 home win over BancaTercas Teramo to finish second in Group A. Galatasaray’s 3-3 record put it ahead of Teramo (2-4), which would have advanced with a win. Gala joins Power Electric Valencia, Unics Kazan and Hapoel Jerusalem in Last 16 Group J. The game was a wild one that saw the hosts take early 10-2 and 26-11 leads before Teramo stormed back with 23 unanswered points. The visitors led 42-45 at halftime and Galatasaray was up 62-61 after three quarters. Hwever Teramo cooled off when it mattered most and the hosts stormed through for the win. Simas Jasaitis paced the winners with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals, Darius Washington tallied 15 points and 7 assists, Rado Rancik had 15 points and 8 rebounds and Mike Wilkinson scored 11 for the winners. Ryan Hoover drilled 6 triples on the way to 21 points for Teramo, while Giuseppe Poeta, Goran Jurak and Drake Diener added 14 each in defeat.
Galatasaray won the opening tip and jumped ahead on an Evren Buker three-pointer. Diener answered for the visitors with a layup, but in little time Gala had pieced together a comfortable lead. Jasaitis’s basket-plus-foul was followed by a Wilkinson triple and a Washington basket for a 10-2 start. Jesse Young made his presence felt inside as he brought Teramo within 12-7, but Washington scored twice and set up Wilkinson for another to put his team up 18-9 as Teramo called a timeout. Nevertheless, the momentum remained with the hosts as Murat Kaya hit from behind the arc and Washington found Wilkinson inside to increase the lead to 14. Another Kaya triple made it 26-11 before Teramo answered. Jurak sparked a 0-12 charge to finish the quarter with a three-pointer and a basket inside and Hoover added a three to get the visitors within 26-23 at the end of the quarter. The Teramo surge continued into the second quarter as Hoover scored and Poeta connected from downtown to put his team ahead for the first time, 26-28. Diener and Hoover each tacked on another triple to complete a run of 23 unanswered points that made it 26-34. Rancik and Wilkinson went to work inside for the hosts, but another Hoover three kept Teramo in control. Jasaitis’s three-point play was followed by a Rancik basket before Jasaitis drilled a three to put the hosst back on top, 38-37. After a Hoover three and Wilkinson free throws, the scoreboard read 40-40. Poeta hit one more three and Ginaluca Lulli added free throws that set the visitors on top 42-45 at the break.
After a slow start to the third quarter, Virgil Stanescu put Teramo up 5, but back-to-back triples by Rancik and Jasaitis helped Galatasaray regain the lead. Another Jasaitis three made it 52-48. Diener responded with a triple for Teramo and Young tied the game from the line. Buker set up Fatih Solak inside and scored a basket himself as the lead climbed to 7, but Hoover and Goran Jurak, both from downtown, brought the visitors within 62-61 heading into the fourth quarter. Solak and Jurak traded baskets before Jasaitis took charge with a pair of triples for a 70-63 Gala lead. Diener answered with a triple and jumper to get the visitors within 4. But a dry spell at the worst possible time doomed Teramo. Solak’s slam, 2 free throws by Rancik and 2 more by Washington put the hosts up 10. Hoover tried to rescue his team with a three, but Washington matched him. Time was running out for Teramo’s season and the hosts remained steady from the line. Even after another Hoover triple made it 85-78 with less than a minute remaining, Rancik sank 2 free throws, which signaled the start of Last 16 celebrations for the loyal home fans.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010