By raising its game to new heights after halftime, Asvel Basket turned back winless Ludwigsburg 81-74 on Tuesday to forge a place for itself within a three-way tie for first place in Group G. Asvel raised its record to 4-2 and waited while Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas toppled Asco Slask Wroclaw, leaving all three even at the top of the group. A 30-14 blast in the third quarter settled a game that featured 13 ties and 8 lead changes before halftime. A 39-39 tie a tthe break turned into a 69-53 difference after 30 minutes, putting Asvel in the clear while Ludwigsburg fell to 0-6. Lamayne Wilson led Asvel's offensive effort with 20 points and saw three teammates join him in double figures: Uchenna Nsomwu with 17 points, Robert Conley with 14 and Yohann Sangare with 11. Ludwigsburg, now on the verge of elimination, got 12 points from Heinrik Schaffartzik, 11 from Brandon Woudstra and 10 each from Anthony Richardson and Michel Ferreira.
Neither team could grab more than one-shot advantage until Woudstra buried back-to-back triples to put Ludwigsburg up 8-13. Even then, Asvel was ready to match immediately with a jumper by Laurent Foirest and a triple by Sangare and fight through two more ties to win the first quarter 21-19 on Wilson's basket. Ludwigsburg was not going away, and battled to tie again before Nils Mittman put the guests back in front, 26-29, on a big triple. It was Asvel's turn to counterpunch, with Nsomwu hitting a go-ahead inside shot at 31-29. And back and forth they went, through a total of 13 ties and 8 lead changes in the first half, until a free throw by Ludwigsburg's Coleman Collins left them even again at halftime, 39-39. Wilson broke the tie and added a triple as Asvel tried to take off after the break at 44-39. Collins and Anthony Richardson kept Ludwigsburg close at 49-47, but Foirest and Sangare answered with 5 straight points. Soon, Robert Conley and Nsomwu joined them to establish the first double-digit lead, 61-51, on the way to a 69-53 advantage after 30 minutes. Asvel's defense did the rest, keeping the lid on any comeback attempt while building the difference to a high of 75-62 with 3 minutes left. Ludwigsburg tried valiantly behind three-pointers to get closer at the finish, but the home fans still went home with visions of first place dancing in their heads.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007