BC Donetsk made it to the Eurocup Quarterfinals by rallying to edge Asvel Basket 93-87 in Ukraine in Group J on Tuesday. Donetsk improved to 4-1, booked a spot among the best 8 teams in the competition and will win Group J if it beats Aris BSA 2003 or if Asvel downs Khimki next week. Asvel dropped to 1-4 and is mathematically out of the Last 16 race. Darnell Jackson led the winners with 20 points on 9-of-11 two-pointers. Ramel Curry added 16, Vule Avdalovic had 15 while Michael Lee had 12 for Donetsk. Edwin Jackson led Asvel with 19 points. Dijon Thompson added 17, Hilton Armstrong and Kim Tillie each had 12 while Phil Goss got 11 for the guests, that led 32-40 at halftime and kept a 58-63 margin after 30 minutes. Donetsk rallied in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Avdalovic completed the hosts' comeback, 70-67. Goos gave Asvel its last lead, 72-74, but Jackson, Avdalovic and Ramel Curry shined in crunch time to lead Donetsk to a big, critical home win.
Leo Westermann got Asvel going with free throws but ajumper by Maksym Pustozvonov quickly tied it at 2-2. Westermann and
Tillie fueled a 0-7 Asvel run that Jackson capped with a three-point play, good for a 2-9 lead. Jackson stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and a dunk and Lee added a close basket but Tillie singlehandedly kept Asvel ahead, 9-13. Thompson followed a triple with a jumper and a free throw by Dimitrios Haritopoulos boosted the guests' margin to 11-19. Free throws by Lee and a three-point play by Vojdan Stojanovski brought Donetsk within 16-21 after 10 minutes. Ivan Radenovic scored down low early in the second quarter but Thompson had 5 points in a 0-9 run that Armstrong capped with an easy basket that gave Asvel a 18-30 margin. Donetsk called timeout and Radenovic scored again. Jackson added consecutive baskets for a 24-31 deficit, as Asvel kept struggling to score. Armstrong rescued the guests with a three-point play but Lee and Curry brought Donetsk even closer, 29-34. Tillie sank a jumper and Jackson added free throws to restore a 29-38 Asvel edge. A layup-plus-foul by Avdalovic and a jumper by Haritopoulos fixed the halftime score at 32-40.
Radenovic struck from downtown right after the break, igniting a 7-0 run that Jackson capped with a jumper that brought Donetsk as close as 39-40. Armstrong scored down low and Jackson added a dunk but Jackson kept the guests within 42-44. Lee nailed a three-pointer but a layup by Armstrong and a put-back dunk by Thompson gave Asvel some fresh air at 45-48. Advalovic stepped up with a layup that Jackson bettered with consecutive baskets, good for a 47-52 score. Jackson and Westermann stepped up for Asvel and free throws by Haritopoulos made it an eight-point game, 52-60. Curry and Stojanovski allowed Donetsk to get within 58-63 after 30 minutes. Tillie buried a jumper early in the fourth quarter but Donetsk found a new go-to guy in Slava Kravtsov, who kept his team within 63-65. Curry and Thompson traded baskets and a layup by Dmytro Gliebov tied the game again, 67-67, with 7 minutes to go. Advalovic and Jackson struck from downtown but an outstanding Tillie and back-to-back baskets by Goss put Asvel back ahead, 72-74. A 6-0 run that Jackson capped with a put-back basket gave Donetsk the lead for good, 78-74. Three-pointers by Goss and Jackson gave Asvel hope at 84-82 but Avdalovic and Curry combined for 7-of-8 free throws in the last 20 seconds to lead Donetsk to a very critical win.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012