EuroChallenge: Krasnye remains undefeated


Coming into EuroChallenge Week 4 there were three undefeated clubs. Two of the three played on Tuesday, with Krasnye Krylia coming out 4-0 after a huge 68:93 win on the road against the Norrkoping Dolphins and Pinar Karsiyaka dropped their first contest when they took to the road to take on Gaz Metan Medias and fell 77:69. The final club with an unblemished record, EWE Baskets, plays Tsmoki-Minsk on Wednesday.

Group I
BK Ventspils – Joensuun Kataja, 75:61
BK Ventspils picked up their second win in the EuroChallenge Last 16 round with a 75:61 home win over Joensuun Kataja, who drops to 1-3 with the loss.

Kataja opened the contest with a 20:24 first quarter advantage. Both clubs had trouble finding the bottom of the net in the second, only scoring a combined 22 points. At the end of the half Kataja held a 30:36 advantage.

The guests continued having trouble tallying any points in the third, only dropping in nine, while Ventspils knocked down 25 to build a 10-point advantage, 55:45. Ventspils outscored Kataja 16:8 over the first six minutes of the fourth frame to extend their advantage to 18. Over the last four minutes Kataja was able to cut the gap by six, but they still handed Ventspils their second win of the round.

Donald Sims was game-high for Ventspils with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Arturs Berzins added 13 points and 5 rebounds, and Sandis Valters contributed 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Johnell Smith and Antti Kanervo each dropped in 12 points for Kataja. Jermaine Flowers added 11 points, Petri Virtanen contributed 10.

Gaz Metan Medias – Pinar Karsiyaka, 77:69
Kyle Shiloh knocked down a three-pointer with 35 seconds off the clock to give Gaz Metan Medias a 3:0 lead over unbeaten Pinar Karsiyaka on Tuesday. From that point on, the hosts would never trail the Group I leader and at one point had built an 18-point lead. By the end of the contest Medias’ was on the strong side of a 77:69 score and Pinar Karsiyaka had suffered their first defeat in the EuroChallenge Last 16 round. The result doesn’t cover the 30 points that Pinar beat Medias the first round, so Pinar will win any tie-break should it be necessary.

Medias set the tone early in this contest with a 9:0 run that gave them a 21:11 advantage at the end of the first frame. Medias built an 18-point lead with a 17:9 scoring run mid-way through the second period. Pinar was able to cut the gap to 11 by the end of the half, 45:34.

Medias extended their lead to 16 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but Pinar was able to cut the margin to eight with a 4:12 run to close the stanza. In the final frame Medias again pushed their advantage up, this time to 15 points. Pinar put in one final effort over the last four minutes, outscoring their hosts 4:13, to get within five, 74:69, with 35 seconds left on the clock. Ivan Ivanovic split a pair of singles for Medias, put Pinar wasn’t able to connect on a lay-up, or a triple after an offensive rebound. Ivan Lilov was fouled and dropped in to free throws to wrap up scoring with a 77:69 win. The win gives Medias a 2-2 record and a tie for second in the group, while Pinar drops to 3-1, while still leading the way in Group I.

Lilov lead Medias with 15 points. Rares Mandache added 14 points and 7 assists, Ivanovic dropped in 12. William Thomas was game-high with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Robert Dixon and Can Mutaf added 11 points apiece.

Group J
BCM Gravelines – Szolnoki Olaj, 82:78
BCM Gravelines used an 11-point advantage in the final 10 minutes to earn a come-from-behind win over Szolnoki Olaj at home. The win improves Gravelines to 3-1 in Group J and tied with Paris Levallois for the top spot in the group, while Szolnoki drops to 2-2.

Szolnoki got up six late in the first quarter, but Gravelines countered and tied things up at 17. With four seconds to play Akos Horvath dropped in a triple for Szolnoki to give the guests the lead back, 19:20. Gravelines took the lead early in the second quarter and was able to build a six-point margin near the end of the half. Szolnoki outscored their hosts 2:6 over the last two minutes to head into the dressing rooms with a two-point difference, 42:40.

The clubs exchanged baskets early in the third, then the guests took control and built a small advantage. Kennedy Winston dropped in a pair for singles for Gravelines with just under four minutes to play in the third quarter, starting a scoring drought for the hosts. Szolnoki took advantage of Gravelines misfortunes (five missed shots and two turnovers) and dropped in eight unanswered points to get up 53:62. Sarra Camara dropped in a lay-up at the buzzer to snap the dry spell for Gravelines and finish the third with the score 55:62. The hosts used a 12:0 run mid-way through the quarter to build a seven-point lead with five minutes to play. Szolnoki cut the gap to three a minute later, only to have the home squad push the lead back to eight with a minute and a half left. Brandon Gay closed out the scoring for the guests with a lay-up and then a pair of singles. Over the last 45 seconds neither team scored, giving Gravelines their third win of the Last 16 round.

Aldo Curti led Gravelines with 14 points, Abdoulaye Mbaye added 12, Julius Johnson contributed 11 and Dwight Buycks dropped in 10. Marton Bader was game-high with 21 points for Szolnoki, Gay added 15 and Sead Sehovic contributed 11.

Hapoel Holon – Paris Levallois, 84:101
Paris Levallois got their third Last 16 round win with an 84:101 road victory over Hapoel Holon, who remains winless with the loss.

The hosts jumped out to a huge first quarter advantage, getting up 19:4 with just over four minutes to play in the frame. Paris was able to find the cords from there and ended up finding themselves on the short end of a 14-point deficit. The visitors turned things around over a two minute stretch in the second with a 0:13 run that cut the margin from 17 to four, 40:36. At the end of the half the gap was still four in Hapoel’s favor, 45:41.

The gap grew on a Hapoel 6:1 drive early in the third, but Paris was able to knot the score at 51 with nine unanswered points. The guests kept up the pressure and by the end of the third had a 10-point lead, 58:68. After Jerome Dyson opened scoring in the fourth with a jumper for Hapoel, Antoine Diot connected on two triples to push the lead to 14. The closest Hapoel was able to get in the final 10 was nine points, but Maleye Ndoye knocked down the last eight for Paris with a deuce and two triples to give Paris a 17-point advantage, a 3-1 mark, and a share of the top spot in Group J with BCM Gravelines.

Jawad Williams led a contingent of seven Paris players in double figures with 16 points. Diot added 14 points and 6 assists, Louis Labeyrie and Sean May dropped in 13 each, John Cox connected for 12, and Jonathan Aka and Andrew Albicy (8 assists) each contributed 10. Franklin Hassell was game-high with 31 points and 9 rebounds for Hapoel. Dyson added 18 points, 6 assists and 2 steals. Lawrence Hill contributed 16 points and 6 rebounds. Dominic Waters added 12 points and 10 assists.

Group K
BC Khimik – Tofas SC, 69:62
BC Khimik improved to 2-2 in Group K with a 69:62 win at home over Tofas SC. The lost drops Tofas to 1-3.

The clubs battled to a 13-all tie with two minutes to play in the quarter, which was broken with a Sava Lesic three-ball to close the scoring in the first at 16:13. Before Tofas put up any more points on the board, Khimik tallied 12 unanswered to take a 25:13 lead that they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the contest. By the end of the half they were up 13, 36:23.

Khimik was able to build their margin to 18 points mid-way through the third frame, then was outscored 3:10 over the last three minutes of the period to head into the final 10 up 52:41. Tofas cut the lead to six early in the quarter, but Khimik pushed their advantage back to 12. Tofas got a deuce as time was running out to cut the margin to seven, 69:62.

Devoe Joseph was game-high for Khimik with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Lesic added 11, Willie Deane and Suad Sehovic dropped in 10 each in the win. Austin Nichols paced Tofas with 14. Chinemelu Elonu contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Norrköping Dolphins – Krasnye Krylia, 68:93
Krasnye Krylia extended their unbeaten record in the Last 16 round to 4-0 and in the process locked up the first spot in the quarterfinals with a 68:93 road win over Norrköping. The Dolphins dropped to 1-3 with the loss.

Krasnye used a 0:13 run at the end of the first quarter to build a nine-point advantage at the end of the frame, 19:28. The Dolphins cut the lead to five early in the second frame, but then their quests took control and had a 2:10 run to extend the margin to 13, 29:42. After Norrköping dropped in a triple, Krasnye connected on two quick long-balls and a deuce to get up 18, 32:50. The clubs headed into the dressing rooms with the visitors up 16, 41:57.

The two clubs played to a 14:14 tie in the third frame to head into the final 10, 55:71. Krasnye outscored their hosts 13:22 in last quarter to earn their fourth victory, 68:93.

Andre Smith was game-high with 21 points and six rebounds for Krasnye. Chester Simmons and Omar Thomas added 17 points to the win. Christian Maraker led the Dolphins with 13 points, Oladapo Ayuba added 12 and Edgars Jeromanovs contributed 11 points and 5 assists.

Group L
Telekom Baskets – Okapi Aalstar, 85:72
In a game played last Wednesday (Feb. 6), Telekom Baskets Bonn improved their record to 2-2 with an 85:72 win over Okapi Aalstar, who drops to 1-3. Telekom moves into second place in Group L and Okapi Aalstar dropped to third.

Kyle Weems led the way for Telekom with 34 points on a 14 for 17 night from the floor, and scoring 17 in the third quarter to help build a lead for the hosts.

Okapi got up 6:14 mid-way through the first quarter, then Telekom ran off 13 straight points to take a 19:14 lead on the way to a 25:20 first quarter advantage. The two clubs exchanged baskets for the first eight minutes of the second frame, then Aalstar tallied six unanswered to get an advantage 37:40. Jamel McLean threw down a dunk at the end of a Weems pass to close out the scoring in the first half, 39:40.

The hosts were able to build a lead at the end of the third frame, scoring the last eight points quarter to get up 70:61. Weems knocked down four triples on his way to 17 third quarter points.

Telekom’s lead reached a high of 17 during the last 10, but settled for a 13-point win and second in the group behind EWE Baskets, the club they square off against in Week 5.

Weems was game-high with 34 points for Telekom, while Robert Vaden added 15 points and 6 assists. Ioana Tofi paced Aalstar with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Ryan Thompson (6 assists) and Thomas Dreesen added 16 points each. Arne Steinbach contributed 13 points and 6 assists, and Christopher Young hauled in 9 rebounds for Aalstar.

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