ASVEL Lyon is the first finalist of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds, after beating Strasbourg 74-65 in an all-French showdown on Thursday at Sleuyter Arena in Ostend, Belgium. On Friday, ASVEL will play either Unics Kazan or Hapoel Jerusalem in a game that will earn the winner a place in the Euroleague regular season Group A. ASVEL spent most of the first half against Strasbourg with the lead, and David Lighty in the first and David Andersen in the second quarter helped it to 37-32 halftime lead. Strasbourg had a strong start to the third quarter, with Ali Traore and Louis Campbell fueling a 3-17 spurt, opening up 41-49 advantage. However, ASVEL finished the quarter with an 11-0 run, with triples from Taurean Green and Travis Bader putting it in front 52-49. In the fourth, ASVEL started pulling away behind Amara Sy and Ahmad Nivins, before Lighty and Taurean Green finished the job. Green finished the game with 15 points and 12 assists, while Lighty collected 13 points and 12 rebounds. Nivins scored 12, while Bader and Andersen chipped in with 10 apiece. Traore was Strasbourg’s top scorer with 14 points, while Matt Howard had 10 points plus 10 rebounds.
Teams traded baskets early on, with Andersen and Traore opening scoring from close range, while Louis Campbell for Strasbourg and Lighty for ASVEL each nailed one from the distance for 7-7. Jeremy Leloup also hit a three-pointer for Strasbourg, but Lighty and Bader hit back-to-back from long range, giving ASVEL 17-12. Tadija Dragicevic hit a triple for Strasbourg late in the first quarter, but Edwin Jackson buried a jumper just before the buzzer for 19-15 after 10 minutes. A second triple from Dragicevic put Strasbourg back in front, 21-22 early in the second quarter, but ASVEL quickly restored its lead with Andersen’s jumper-plus-foul, and Andersen also added a three-pointer for 28-24. Campbell, Traore, Leloup and Howard all scored on the other end, but a last second three-pointer from Green gave ASVEL 37-32 halftime edge.
Strasbourg had a strong opening of the third quarter, with Campbell scoring a basket-plus-foul, and assisting Leloup for a fastbreak layup, before Antoine Diot nailed a triple for 38-42. Andersen snapped a 0-10 run, but Traore scored twice and Dragicevic made his third triple for 41-49. However, Green answered with a dagger from long range, and Bader hit back-to-back three-pointers in an 11-0 run that put ASVEL back in front 52-49 after three quarters. Strasbourg did briefly restore a slim lead through Diot and Axel Toupane at the start of the fourth, but a pair of jumpers from Amara Sy put ASVEL ahead for good. Nivins scored 6 points, including a fastbreak dunk, and Lighty’s wide open triple made it 65-58. A fastbreak dunk from Jackson, and a triple from Green extended it to 70-60 with little over 2 minutes to go. Strasbourg had its hope stay alive after Diot hit a triple, cutting the deficit to 5 points, but Green answered right back with a three-point dagger to seal the deal.
Thursday, September 25, 2014