Brescia fends off Joventut comeback
Germani Brescia Leonessa picked up a huge victory in the fight for the Top 16 by holding on to beat Joventut Badalona 87-83 at home. Kenneth Horton scored 21 points for Brescia, which nearly blew a 19-point fourth-quarter lead, but improved to 4-3 in the group - the same record as Joventut and Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul. Andrea Zerini and Tyler Cain both added 12 points, Tommaso Laquintana chipped in 11 points and Luca Vitali picked up 5 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists in the win. Alen Omic collected 17 points and 10 rebounds to pace Joventut, which missed a chance to book a spot in the Top 16 with a victory. Nenad Dimitrijevic scored 15 points, Perrin Buford had 13 points and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui 10 in the losing effort.
Lopez-Arostequi started the scoring for the visitors and added a three-pointer and assist to Klemen Prepelic for a 5-9 lead. DeAndre Lansdowne’s second score evened the game before Omic hit three straight baskets for Joventut and Lopez-Arostequi knocked down a second triple for a 14-18 advantage. David Moss hit from long range at the other end, but baskets from new addition Buford kept Joventut up 22-24 after 10 minutes. Laquintana opened the second quarter with a three-pointer that put Brescia ahead. The next three scores resulted in lead changes before Nikos Zisis's triple made it 27-31. Tyler Cain put the hosts back ahead only to see Omic complete a three-point play. Albert Ventura’s triple left Joventut up 32-37. Lansdowne scored twice at the other end and Horton added 5 points in an 11-0 surge to go up 52-43 at the break.
Horton’s first score of the second half established a double-digit lead 56-46. Luke Harangody managed his first points of the game to trim it to 56-50, but Zerini sparked a 13-0 charge with 5 points for a 69-50 advantage. Dimitrijevic’s free throws ended the drought, but the Brescia cushion was still 71-55 after 30 minutes. An Angelo Warner three-pointer early in the fourth re-established a 19-point gap. Joventut responded with 9 straight points - 4 by Dimitrijevic - in trimming the margin to 76-66. Laquintana managed to score, but the host’s offense remained stalled and Buford’s three-pointer completed a 2-18 run and made it 78-75. Vitali came up with a huge three-point play to push the lead back to 6 points. Dimitrijevic kept the visitors close with 6 straight points to bring Joventut within 84-81 inside the final minute. Harangody and Lopez-Arostegui both missed three-point attempts to tie the game and Zerini converted 3 free throws and David Moss picked up a steal in the final 18 seconds to secure the win.
EuroCup’s leading scorer a non-factor
Klemen Preperlic came into the game as the EuroCup’s leading scorer with 19.0 points per game to go with 5.0 assists per game. But he was a non-factor in the loss with just 6 points on 1-of-5 field goal shooting with 2 assists and 3 turnovers in 15 minutes of action.
Kenneth Horton may have led Brescia in scoring, but he only had 2 points in the second half, when Andrea Zerini was the team’s heart at both ends. He scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting and made all three of his free throws late to go with 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 23 minutes off the bench.
Joventut hit just 5 of 23 three-pointers (21.7 percent) and Brescia connected on 59.1% from two-point range.
Brescia heads on the road and will take on Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana on Tuesday, November 19. Joventut remains on the road and faces Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul on Wednesday.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019