Moore, Cordinier propel Nanterre to key road win
Nanterre 92 gained a vital road victory by downing Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana 87-93 in a close-fought encounter in the Slovenian capital. The French side were ahead for nearly the whole game, leading by double digits on several occasions, but Olimpija battled back in the final period and briefly went ahead inside the closing minutes before a flurry of points from Spencer Butterfield proved decisive. Dallas Moore top scored with 25 points, while the outstanding Isaia Cordinier combined 20 points with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots. Taylor Smith scored 16 points, all in the first half, and Butterfield finished with 14. Olimpija was paced by Marko Simonovic, who scored 21 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting. Codi Miller-McIntyre added 19 points, while Ryan Boatright scored 16 and Jaka Blazic 12. It was a key contest at the bottom of Group C, and leaves Olimpija winless at 0-4 while Nanterre improves to 2-2 to boost its qualification hopes.
The early scoring was evenly shared and fast-moving, with Moore netting twice for Nanterre as Blazic did the same for the hosts. It was 11-11 midway through the first, before triples from Cordinier and Moore sent Nanterre ahead. Simonovic also struck from deep to tie the game, but the visiting team finished the first quarter leading 21-28 after a pair of three-point plays from Smith. Red-hot Smith kept on scoring early in the second, before Boatright made three consecutive triples to narrow the gap. But 7 points in less than a minute from Moore made it 32-42. Simonovic’s triple sparked a 7-0 run for Olimpija, but a three-point play by Cordinier and a driving layup by Moore helped make it 44-52 at the end of a rapid-fire first half. Moore started the second half’s scoring, but Miller-McIntyre quickly scored twice for the home team before Moore added another three-point play for a 48-59 lead. Another Simonovic triple pulled Olimpija back, but a pair of baskets from Cordinier kept Nanterre comfortable. Simonovic netted from long-range yet again and Olimpija finally succeeded in slowing down the visiting offense, before Miller-McIntyre’s buzzer-beater made it 67-71 at the end of the third. Edo Muric’s triple made it a one-possession game early in the fourth, but Nanterre stayed ahead, 74-79, after a big slam by Devin Oliver. Olimpija battled back and another downtown strike from Simonovic levelled the game with 4 minutes remaining. Mikael Hopkins scored twice as the home team moved ahead, but free throws and a deep three from Butterfield restored Nanterre’s lead. Butterfield’s long two made it 86-91 inside the final minute, and there was no way back for Olimpija.
Smith takes over for Nanterre…
Taylor Smith simply took over in the latter stages of the first quarter. The visiting big man scored 10 points in less than 3 minutes, including a pair of three-point plays, and also added 2 rebounds and a blocked shot to give Nanterre major momentum after a close start to the game...
…and Moore follows up
After that blitz from Smith, his teammate Dallas Moore then stepped up to do a very similar job. The playmaker scored a three-pointer, two free throws and a two-pointer in less than a minute, stretching Nanterre’s lead into comfortable territory before half-time.
Trio carry the workload
Visiting coach Pascal Donnadieu used a very short roster, with only nine players stepping on the court and two of those playing no more than 5 minutes each. That left seven players with a heavy load, and three in particular were barely off the court: Isaia Cordinier played 34 minutes 15 seconds, followed by Devin Oliver (34:11) and Moore (33:38).
Free throws boost Nanterre
Accuracy from the foul line played a big role in Nanterre’s win. The French club made 26-of-29 free throws (89.7%), with only one player – Youssoupha Ndoye – missing from the foul line. Cordinier and Moore combined for 16 foul shot conversions without a single miss. Olimpija, though, only made 14-of-22 (63.6%).
Nanterre returns home in Round 5, welcoming Germani Brescia Leonessa on Tuesday night. Olimpija will look for its first win of the season with a trip to Joventut Badalona.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019