EuroChallenge Top 16: Home court advantage

The EuroChallenge Last 16 round tipped off on Tuesday with a full slate of eight contests. As was the case last week with the Euroleague matches, the EuroChallenge home squads had the upper hand as seven of eight victories went to the locals. The only exception was the Telekom Baskets Bonn victory over Okapi Aalstar in Belgium.

The upset of the week was turned in by Finnish club Joensuun Kataja over BK Ventspils, 80:78. Ventspils was riding a six-game winning streak in this years EuroChallenge, going 6-0 in regular season play, while Joensuun qualified at 3-3 in Group B on the last day.

Group I
Joensuun Kataja – BK Ventspils, 80:78
EuroChallengeVentspils had a 19-game winning snapped this weekend by Barons kvartals in the opening game of the Baltic Basketball League Last 16. The streak reached across three leagues and the last game they came up on the short end of a score was during a Latvian LBL contest against Vlamiera, where Ventspils lost 83:62, on October 27, 2012.

The visitors built a 17-point lead with 4:53 left to play in the second quarter, but allowed the hosts to go on a 17:5 run to cut the margin to five with eight ticks on the clock before half time. Ventspils’ Folarin Campbell was fouled by two different Kataja players behind the arc at the buzzer and connected on all three singles he was given to end the half up 40:48.

Joensuun outscored Ventspils 23:13 in the third frame to take the lead into the final 10, 63:61.

The clubs exchanged the lead a few times in the early part of the final quarter, before the hosts got up by four, 76:72. Ventspils knotted the score at 76 with a pair of singles and a deuce off a turnover with 37 seconds to play. Johnell Smith was fouled with 24 left on the clock, but he could only connect on one of the pair of singles. Ventspils turned the ball over and Smith was fouled again with 14 to play. Again, he only connected with one of the free throws to give his club a two-point advantage. Ventspils worked the clock down for a final shot, that was taken by Campbell with two seconds to play, but he came up empty to give the Latvian squad their second loss in a week.

Petri Virtanen paced the winners with 22 points, Smith added 16 and Jermaine Flowers dropped in 15 points and dished off five assists.

Campbell’s 19 led Ventspils and Martins Meiers picked up 18 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

Pinar Karsiyaka – Gaz Metan Medias, 89:59
The two clubs stayed close in the first quarter, with Gaz Metan Medias coming out of the first frame with a one-point advantage. From there is was all Pina Karsiyaka as they went on a 19:2 run in the second and never looked back. GMM did what they could to stay close in the third, but a pair of triples and a deuce started another huge run, this one 18:2, and putting the game out of reach for good.

Robert Dixon was game-high with 28 points for Pinar, followed by floor-mate Jon Diebler’s 15. Soner Senturk contributed eight assists to the win.

Gaz Metan Medias picked up 11 from Zoran Krstanovic and 10 from Rares Mandache.

Group J
Szolnoki Olaj – BCM Gravelines, 75:71
It took and extra five to determine this Week 1 Group J contest. Szolnoki came from down seven with 2:02 with three triples, two by Sead Sehovic, to knot the score at 65 at the end of regulation. Both Ludovic Vaty and Kennedy Winston had opportunities to hit a game-winner for Gravelines within the last 12 seconds, but both drew a blank and the contest headed into OT.

Szolnoki used the momentum they built at the end to put Gravelines away in the extra frame.

Marton Bader contributed 20 points and 12 rebounds to the win, Akos Horvath added 16.

Vaty hit a game-high 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, while Juan Edwards picked up 10 points and seven rebounds in the loss.


Paris Levallois – Hapoel Holon, 83:66
Paris Levallois dominated the second half of this contest after Hapoel Holon hung in during the first half and headed into the intermission only down 39:34.

Jawad Williams lead the hosts with 21, John Cox added 20, and Sean May contributed 16 points and 16 rebounds.

Lawrence Hill was game-high with 26 points and added 14 rebounds for the visitors. Jerome Dyson added 15 points.

Group K
Tofas SC – Khimik, 93:90
Tofas SC gave their home crowd an exciting contest when they welcome Khimik on Tuesday and treated them to a buzzer-beater for a 93:90 win.

Tofas had built a 51:41 lead at the half, which was as high as 15 points, only to let Khimik back in the game in the second half. Heading into the final quarter, the hosts head a four-point margin, 70:66, which was erased in less than a minute on a deuce and three-ball by Khimik. The clubs exchanged the lead throughout the quarter, with Khimik hanging on to a one-point advantage with 1:07 to play. Inanc Koc hit a three for Tofas with 19 seconds to play, to put his club up by two, 90:88. Vernon Goodridge dropped in a layup with 15 left to tie it at 90. Tofas took a time out to come up with a strategy; then they worked the clock to one and had Kenan Sipahi let fly a triple that hit the cords at the horn for the win.

Steven Burtt dropped in 20 to lead Tofas to the win, Can Altintig added 15, and Chinemelu Elonu contributed 13.

Khimik was led by Suad Sehovic’s game-high 21 points and nine rebounds, Willie Deane added 19, and Devoe Joseph tallied 17.

Krasnye Krylia – Norrkoping Dolphins, 93:75
Krasnye Krylia kept their winning ways going with their seventh win in a row in EuroChallenge 2012-13 competition at the expense of the Norrkoping Dolphins in Russia.

The hosts got everything they needed in the first 10, building a 25:13 advantage. Krasnye never trailed in this one and only allowed the Dolphins to tie the score at 3-all and 5-all, otherwise the Russian squad dominated started to finish to pick up their first win in Last 16 play.

Andre Smith tallied 28 points and 12 rebounds in the win, Chester Simmons added 18 points, and Aaron Miles got 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Joakim Kjellbom led the way for Norrkoping with 18 points, while Martin Ringstrom and Edgars Jeromanovs added 13 each.

Group L
EWE Baskets – Tsmoki-Minsk, 74:64
EWE Baskets never trailed in this Week 1 contest and picked up their seventh straight EuroChallege 2012-13 win, coming off a 6-0 regular season record.

Christopher Kramer paced EWE with 18, Rickey Pauling dropped in 16, and Julius Jenkins added 13 to the win.

Aliaksei Lashkevich’s 17 led Minsk, Aliaksandr Pustahvar contributed 16.

Okapi Aalstar – Telekom Baskets Bonn, 60:65
Telekom Baskets earned the sole road win in EuroChallenge Week 1 with a hard-fought win in Aalst, Belgium.

The two clubs battled for four quarters, with neither team getting more than a five-point lead at any point. They exchanged the lead numerous times a quarter or were knotted up, right up to the end, when Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann hit a driving layup to put Telekom up by one with 55 seconds to play. Derek Raivio couldn’t connect on a layup with 19 seconds to go, resulting in a foul and sending Benas Veikalas to the line for a pair of singles. He connected both to extend the lead to three. Thomas Dreesen missed a triple to tie it with 17 to play and Telekom drained the clock until Kyle Weems was fouled. Weems hit his singles to stretch the lead to five and close out the game.

Weems led Bonn with 15, and Veikalas added 12 to the win.

Ioana Tofi paced the hosts with 15 and Noah Hartsock added 14.

Group I

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Group J

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Group K

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Group L

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  1. Tin on January 16, 2013 at 12:12

    Therefore the Bonn road win is a big one..

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