Maccabi dominate Chalon for easy win in France
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv remained perfect in Group B following a 61-90 triumph on the road against Elan Chalon at Le Colisee Arena in Chalon, France, on Thursday night. With the win Maccabi improved to 3-0 to spearhead the standings ahead of Alba Berlin, while Chalon dropped its second straight game to fall to 1-2. Maccabi took over the game right from the start and finished the first quarter already with a double-figure advantage, 15-26, and continued to pressure until a 28-53 halftime lead. After scoring only 70 points at home last week Maccabi reached 77 points already by the end of the third quarter and caused 24 turnovers by the home side. Shelden Williams and Brion Rush were the only players who scored in double digits for the home side with 12 points each. Maccabi had five of those with 17 points from David Logan, 15 by Shawn James who added also 3 blocks, Lior Eliyahu with 14 in 15 minutes while Devin Smith and Guy Pnini netted 11 each. Yogev Ohayon flirted with a triple double and finished with 8 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds.
First quarter: James helps Maccabi take charge
Maccabi won the opening tip and saw Smith start the game with a set shot from the arc. James with a big block kept Maccabi clean, and it took two minutes before the hosts got on the board with a mid-range jumper by Williams, 2-3. Maccabi missed a few shots and allowed Brion Rush to hit from behind the arc and give Chalon its first lead in the game. However James, with 2 blocks in a row, held the locals off. Yet Rush with another hit from the corner made it 8-5. Malcolm Thomas with a big dunk tried to wake up Maccabi, and a mid-range basket by James proved it worked and switched the lead back to Maccabi's side. Ohayon finished with a nice layup before the first timeout of the night to put Maccabi up 8-11. Eliyahu took the floor and right away laid the ball in, and Pnini nailed one from the arc to create an 8-16 before Williams finally broke the drought with a layup, but Logan hit another outside shot and Chalon called a timeout now already down 10-21 after only eight minutes. Maccabi returned with full court press and earned a steal and an easy dunk by Ricky Hickman, but Blake Schilb scored his first points from the foul line to see the guests finish the first quarter with a 12-24 lead.
Second quarter: Eliyahu heats up, Maccabi increases lead
Ilian Evtimov started the second quarter with a three pointer and gave Chalon some hopes, but Smith answered with the same shot and Logan finished a fast break with a flashy layup to make it 15-31 and force another timeout by the hosts. Once again Maccabi came back from the timeout with a full court press and again earned a steal and 2 points, only this time managed also to press the inbounds pass and earned another ball up 15-33. Schilb with another dish out for an open man on the arc, this time by Nicolas Lang, helped cheer up the fans a bit, but Logan hit another three at the other side and kept Maccabi up 18. Rush with a steal drew forced an unsportsmanlike foul on Smith, but Maccabi didn't stop and Eliyahu with a typical floater made it 19-40 still with four minutes to play in the first half. Maccabi put great pressure on the passing lanes and time after time forced turnovers before James with a bsket-plus-foul, Eliyahu inside the paint and another James layup created a 19-47 lead. Steed Tchicamboud made a three and together with fastbreak dunks by Rush and Jordan Aboudou brought Chaloan as close as 28-53 at halftime.
Third quarter: Willians, Lang try to ignite the hosts
Williams scored 4 points under the basket, and with a block on the other side helped Joffrey Lauvergne score from the arc and make it only 35-57. Rush with another long range missile and Williams under the boards again kept Chalon scoring, yet Eliyahu and Logan on offense and James with another block were focused and kept Maccabi up by more than 20. Ohayon pushed it up to 42-66 with a corner three-pointer. Smith added a three along with 4 easy fast break points by Eliyahu and Logan to create a record gap of 31. Lang hit a pair of three-pointers that helped Chalon cut the gap to 26 at the end of the third quarter, 49-75.
Fourth quarter: Maccabi finishes off convincing win
Lang with a jumper and Evtimov from the arc opened the last quarter for Chalon, but Giorgi Shermadini with a big slam kept Maccabi around the 30 point barrier. Nik Caner-Medley scored his first three this season to make it 57-87 with almost six minutes to go. From that point until the buzzer both sides took the leg off the gas pedal and cruised to a 61-90 final.
Thursday, October 25, 2012