Coming in to Week 17 of the French Pro A league there were three clubs sitting at the top of the 16 team field, Gravelines-Dunerque, Strasbourg, and Le Mans, all at 11-5. Gravelines had a road contest with Nancy and came out on top with a 79-83 decision. The other match-up featured the other two top ranked clubs, Le Mans and Strasbourg, with Le Mans getting the advantage of the familiar faces in their home arena.
Le Mans had won four straight before Saturdays contest, Strasbourg was riding a six-game streak of their own with only one defeat of more than 10 points in that stretch. On this night, it was the visiting squad from Strasbourg that would walk off the court after the buzzer and congratulations with their seventh straight win and a share of the top of the league with Gravelines.
The first half saw 17 lead changes as the two proved worthy of the top run on the French Pro A ladder. Le Mans’ Pape Sy dropped in 10 of his 15 on the night in the first 10 to help the hosts keep pace with Strasbourg. John Surna nailed a deuce at the buzzer to put the visitors up 22:23 at the end of the first frame.
The hosts were able to put a little margin between them and their guests mid-way through the second period, getting up 38-34, but SIG was able to regain the lead a few minutes later after a quick 0-6 run to make it 38-40. The guests got a four-spot of their own as the time wound down, but Alain Koffi dropped in a jumper to pull Le Mans back to within two at the break, 45-47.
The second half is where Strasbourg took control as they never relinquished the advantage. By mid-way into the third quarter they had pushed the margin to eight, 48-56. Shortly before the horn at the end of the stanza they were up by 11 (54-65), Le Mans’ Khalid El-Amin cut the lead to eight as the third 10 was expiring with a three-ball to send the teams into the final frame, 57-65.
Le Mans was able to pull to within six, but then the guests went on a 2-11 run to put the game out of reach, 64-79 with only three minutes to play. Sy dropped in five straight to help cut the margin to nine with a minute to play, but Strasbourg held on to pick up their seventh straight, 73-85.
Louis Campbell was game-high for Strasbourgh with 18, while Ricardo Greer and John Shurna contributed 14 each.
Sy paced Le Mans with 15, Cahudi Charles has 12 and Cuthbert Victor added 11.
French Pro A
This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=8 match_day=17 template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings[standings league_id=8 show_website=false template=nolink]