Lukoil Academic kept its hold on a piece of second place in Group H by winning its first road game of the season, 73-78, at Pau-Orthez in France on Wednesday. Lukoil is tied now with Artland Dragons, both with 3-2 records, one victory behind first-place BC Kyiv. Pau, meanwhile, fell to 1-4 and is alone in last place. Pero Antic continued putting up monster numbers for the winners, posting a double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds. This time, he had a tag-team partner in Murilo Da Rosa, who doubled up, too, with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Todor Stoykov and Riste Stefanov added 11 points each for the winners. All of which was too much for Pau-Orthez, which got 22 points from David Young, 11 each from Shaun Fein and Maxiliano Stanic, and 10 more from Rupert Thierry. A close game throughout saw its last tie at 71-71 with 3 minutes remaining, but Antic and Da Rosa shared the next 6 points and left no time for Pau to answer.
Tencho Banev, Antic and Stefanov put Lukoil up 1-6 to start the game and the visitors boosted that difference to 4-13 on Donta Smith's jumper before Pau reacted. Stanic and Fein got the hosts withing 10-16, but Stoykov put Lukoil up by double digits briefly before the first quarter ended 15-20. Stoykov's 2 three-pointers midway through the second quarter boosted the guests in front by 23-34 before Stanic and Young led a 8-1 run for Pau. Young completed the Pau comeback with free throws to tie the game, although Da Rosa got to the line once more to leave Lukoil up 37-39 at the half. Pau tied again on the second half's first shot, by Young, but Stoykov answered with yet another triple as Lukoil stayed a step or two ahead always to lead 55-60 after 30 minutes. Cedric Ferchaud busted a triple and Rupert a two-pointer that got Pau as close as 62-63 early in the final quarter. Smith and Da Rosa averted that threat, but Pau was back for a new tie at 71-71 on a triple by Fein and another basket by Rupert. Only 3 minutes remained, and the Antic-Da Rosa tandem made sure for Lukoil by scoring the rest of their team's points while helping the defense hold down Pau until the victory was headed back to Bulgaria.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007