Spirou Charleroi sent a message that echoed all around Group C by downing previously unbeaten Galatasaray Cafe Crown 75-85 in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday. Both teams now join a four-way tie atop the Group C standings along with Akasvayu Girona and Hemofarm Stada. Wes Wilkinson and Tremmell Darden paced the winners each with 16 points. Roel Moors added 14, Adam Hall had 13 points and 5 steals in just 14 minutes, while Justin Hamilton dished 12 assists for Charleroi. Dee Brown and Robert Hite led Galatasaray with 19 points apiece. Huseyin Besok added 12 points and 9 rebounds, Charles Gaines posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Owens posted 10 points for the hosts. Charleroi led 20-38 midway through the second quarter but Galatasaray got within 36-42 at halftime and came within 60-62 early in the fourth period. It all came down to the final 2 minutes, in which Wilkinson dunkedand Hall added a critical three-point play to win it for Spirou down the stretch.
Galatasaray started the game without its injured young star Tufan Ersoz and felt his absence on the defensive side as Charleroi took advantage of easy scoring opportunities to create big early leads. First, however, Galatasaray started strong, with Besok and Gaines scoring 5 points inside on the way to a 9-3 lead. Charleroi responded with Moors and Darden to get within 11-10, before Gaines made it 14-10. Charleroi answered with its first blast, an 0-11 run in which Christophe Beghin picked up the scoring punch and the visitors' defense held Galatasaray scoreless for more than 3 minutes to lead 14-21. When Darden closed the quarter with a three-pointer, the guests had a 16-24 advantage after 10 minutes. Hall dominated the beginning of the second quarter, scoring inside and outside while Charleroi increased the lead to 14 points in minute 13. Galatasaray tried playing twin `point guards, Brown and Cuneyt Erden, but still wasn't able to control the athletic Charleroi forwards. Beghin gave Charleroi what would prove to be the best lead of the game at 20-38, prompting Galatasaray to wake up. Brown, Chris Owens and Robert Hite led the hosts then on a 16-4 charge that lasted almost 5 minutes and took the teams into the locker rooms looking at a 36-42 scoreboard. Wilkinson's three-pointer after the break gave Chalreroi a 38-45 edge, but Galatasaray chose that moment to launch itself back into the game with a 12-4 run that provided a new lead, 50-49, on a layup by Owens halfway through the third quarter. However, Charleroi responded with a 0-8 series in 2 minutes to take the lead back at 50-57, again with a three-pointer by Wilkinson, and went into the last quarter ahead by 57-62. It was a real fight for the finish in the last quarter. The cat-and-mouse race kept going for the last 10 minutes as Galatasaray tried hard to take back the night. Hite got the hosts within 60-62, but Charlerloi was ready with another 0-7 run to a 60-69 advantage with 5 minutes remaining. Brown and Besok took charge now as Galatasary counter-punched with a huge 10-1 blast to catch Charleroi again. After a technical foul of Andre Reddick, Besok missed 2 free throws and Erden made both to cut the Charleroi's lead to a single point, 70-71, with 2 minutes left. The visitors resisted to the end with a spectacular dunk of Wilkinson plus a three-pointer by Hall that demoralized Galatasaray. Fouling by the hosts didn't change anything down the stretch and Charleroi left Istanbul with a very important 75-83 road win in Group C.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007