BCM Gravelines respected the cardinal rule of protecting its home court and as a result found its second Group A victory Tuesday by defeating Ural Great of Perm 86-68 after 40 minutes on unexpected dominance by the French side. The hero of the game was guard Danny Strong, collected 26 points and 6 boards. Gravelines also had big contributions from forward Kordian Korytek, who added 17 and 7 rebounds, guard Ali Bouziane (12 and 6 assists) and center Igor Perica (10 and 6 rebounds). Gravelines had great team effort, and defense was the key, as hosts limited Ural Great, playing without injured forward Nikolai Khryapa to 14 of 40 two-point shots and 5 of 19 threes, for overall shooting accuracy of just 32%. Gravelines led also on rebounds (38-32) and forced 17 turnovers on Ural. Center Chris Anstey led Ural Great with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Stefan Nadjifei added 16 points and Valentin Koubrakov 11. Gravelines climbs to a 2-1 record in the group, good for a first-place tie, while Ural Great falls to 1-2.
The French hosts started with great defensive desire to avenge last week's loss to Udine and denied Ural any way to the basket. Gravelines led 7-3 when it surprised Ural with a 12-3 tear to take a huge early lead at 21-6. That would become 26-10 lead at the end of the first period. Ural seemed surprised by surprised by hosts' intensity and struggled to find a way back into the game. The Gravelines wave was rising and rising, and after 15 minutes, the home team had doubled Ural Great, 36-18. Gravelines suffered a little letdown by the end of the period, and Ural started taking advantage of its players' physical strength to come back within shouting distance. Gravelines was still leading 47-36 with 75 seconds to go until the half. Instead of cruising to the break, the French team put on a 4-0 mini run that hurt Ural, who suddenly had 15 points to make up on the halftime scoreboard: 51-36.
The second half was just like the first one, with Gravelines always managing double-digit leads and Ural struggling to make anything happen. That effort by the guests lasted a long 20 minutes, but Gravelines was decidedly leading by 16 points, 69-53, at the end of the third quarter, and would not let that lead be threatened the remainder of the way. The team from the north of France was not giving in to the Russian champions on this night.
Tuesday, October 29, 2002