Strasbourg holds of Avtodor, goes top of Group H
In a game that went down to the final shot, Strasbourg held off a big Avtodor Saratov rally, clinging on to 77-74 victory on Wednesday night. Strasbourg improves to 2-0, in the sole possession of the first place in Group H, while Avtodor drops to 1-1 record despite outrebounding the hosts 34-54, and pulling down 22 offensive rebounds in the process. The hosts put a strain on Avtodor’s top-ranked offense from the start, and took control of the game in the second quarter. The hosts led 40-31 at halftime, and their lead almost doubled, increasing to 54-38 midway through the third. Strasbourg was still up by 16 points in the fourth, but Avtodor put together a 5-19 spurt to get within two points. Matt Howard and Mardy Collins made sure Strasbourg never relinquished the lead, but Avtodor did get a shot to send the game into overtime, but Travis Peterson did not make his three-point attempt. Collins led Strasbourg with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Howard collected 14 points plus 9 rebounds, and Kyle Weems scored 13. Peterson amassed 21 points and 12 rebounds for Avtodor. Jeremy Chappell had 19 points and 6 assists. Artem Zabelin collected 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Jeff Brooks had 11 points and 10 boards in the losing effort.
Teams got off to a slow start offensively. A put-back from Bangaly Fofana made it 8-3 after more than 5 minutes of play. After Weems and Paul Stoll trade baskets, Artem Klimenko gave Avtodor 10-11 lead. Collins hit a three for the hosts, and Evgeny Kolesnikov answered for Avtodor. Romain Duport made it 16-14 at the end of the first quarter, and the same player sparked a run capped by a Collins’ three-point play, 23-18. Peterson and Zabelin scored for Avtodor, but Weems nailed a triple before Collins and Fofana helped extend the margin to 32-23. Peterson and Stoll went 6-for-6 from the foul line for Avtodor, but Weems, Paul Lacombe and Collins pushed the lead to 11 points, and Strasbourg went into the halftime up 40-31.
In the early going of the third, Chappell hit a three-pointer that cut the deficit to 42-36, but Howard scored 5 points, including a three-point play, then Louis Campbell hit a triple to open a double-digit lead. Back-to-back threes from Rodrigue Beaubois and Collins opened 54-38 midway through the third. Baskets were few and far between in the next four minutes, with Strasbourg keeping the margin through Weems and Collins. Fofana increased it to 60-44 at the start of the fourth, but Zabelin and Chappell each hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 60-52. Collins briefly snapped the run, but Peterson had a two and a three, before Chappell nailed a pair of three-pointers to get Avtodor within 65-63. Howard and Collins made 3 of 4 free throws to stop the bleeding, and Collins scored on a fast break, 70-63. Brooks and Peterson kept the visitors’ hopes alive, but Howard countered with 5 more points to put the hosts’ up 75-69 with 30 seconds to go. Denys Lukashov scored on a fast break for the visitors, and after Beaubois made a pair of free throws, Chappell scored a three-point play, making it 77-74 with 7 seconds to go. Stoll forced a turnover, giving Avtodor a final chance, but Peterson missed a triple that would have sent the game into overtime.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016