Valencia Basket had a strong start in the 2011-12 Eurocup Last 16 by downing BCM Gravelines 63-69 on the road in Group I on Tuesday. Valencia handed Gravelines its first home loss in all competitions this season. Nando De Colo paced the winners with 19 points. Brad Newley added 11 in his first game with the team while Nik Caner-Medley pulled down 14 rebounds for Valencia. Juby Johnson led Gravelines with 14 points. Yannick Bokolo added 12 while Ludovic Vaty had 10 for the hosts, that bounced back from a slow start to get within 14-15 after 10 minutes. Rafa Martinez and De Colo fueled a 0-14 run that gave Valencia the lead for good, 14-29. An outstanding De Colo soon gave Valencia its biggest lead, 32-52, midway through the third quarter. Andrew Albicy, Johnson and J.K. Edwards allowed Gravelines to return to the game, 54-61, but Victor Claver and De Colo shined in crunch time to make Valencia seal a well-deserved, critical road win.
Serhiy Lishchuk got Valencia going with a dunk but Cyril Akpomedah answered from downtown for a 3-2 Gravelines lead. Vaty split free throws but De Colo quickly tied the game at 4-4. Martinez buried a three-pointer and Lishchuk score again to give Valencia a 6-9 edge. De Colo scored off a steal and a dunk by Caner-Medley made Gravelines call timeout at 6-13. De Colo scored in penetration but back-to-back layups by Bokolo made Valencia stop the game at 11-15. Johnson nailed a triple to bring Gravelines even closer, 14-15, after 10 minutes. Lishchuk scored down low early in the second quarter and a layup by Caner-Medley gave Valencia some fresh air, 14-19. Martinez followed free throws with a bomb from downtown and De Colo kept pacing the guests with a driving basket and his own three-pointer to break the game open, 14-29, after a 0-14 run. Johnson, Vaty and Albicy tried to change things with free throws but a long jumper by Newley kept Valencia way ahead, 17-31. Newley stayed on fire with back-to-back three-pointers to boost the guests' margin to 19-37. Albicy hit free throws and Bokolo added a put-back layup but a jumper by Rodrigo San Miguel and a buzzer-beating basket by Florent Pietrus fixed the halftime score at 24-42.
Vaty followed a layup with free throws right after the break and a basket by Akpomedah gave Gravelines some hope at 30-44. De Colo stepped up with a three-pointer and soon added a driving layup to boost the guests' margin to 30-49. Vaty scored again but an unstoppable De Colo answered from downtown to make it a 20-point game, 32-52. Edwards and Victor Claver traded baskets, as Gravelines kept struggling to score against the guests' well-adjusted defense. J.R. Reynolds sak free throws and a three-pointer by Johnson brought the hosts within 39-54. Newley scored around the basket but back-to-back layups by Bokolo got Gravelines as close as 43-56 after 30 minutes. Edwards dunked it to gave Gravelines some hope, 45-56, early in the fourth quarter. Caner-Medley silenced the crowd with a triple but Edwards and Dounia Issa answered with back-to-back layups and a dunk by Johnson forced Valencia to call timeout, 51-59, with over 6 minutes to go. Lishchuk hit foul shots but Johnson struck from downtown to make it a seven-point game, 54-61. Claver buried a triple and Lishchuk soon gave Valencia a 54-65 margin. Albicy buried a running triple but free throws by De Colo and Claver allowed Valencia to seal the outcome, 59-69, with 1:44 left. Gravelines kept trying but Valencia had cruised to a well-deserved win.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012