Strasbourg strikes first in Eurocup Finals
Strasbourg came from behind to beat Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 66-62 Friday in Game 1 of the Eurocup Finals, but must protect the slim margin in the return leg in Turkey to complete its mission. Galatasaray hosts Game 2 of the two-game total-points series on Wednesday in Istanbul. The visitors led much of the way, but a Louis Campbell triple pushed Strasbourg ahead three minutes into the fourth quarter and Matt Howard scored 8 points in the final five-and-a-half minutes, including 4 in a key 8-1 run as Strasbourg built an 8-point cushion. Galatasaray halved the margin in the final minute. Campbell recoded 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the fourth quarter and finished a brilliant night with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Howard and Jeremy Leloup added 11 points each for Strasbourg. Vladimir Micov paced Galatasray with 17 points, Blake Schilb posted 12 points and 8 rebounds and Chuck Davis came off the bench for 11 points, including the basket that sent him into second place on the Eurocup’s career scoring charts. Stephane Lasme provided defensive muscle with 7 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
First quarter: Galatasaray shakes off slow start
Both teams struggled to score early until Kyle Weems got Strasbourg going with a three-pointer from the top of the key. Lasme quickly answered with a five-meter jumper that Weems matched at the other end. Micov stepped up with a driving layup, but didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, a backdoor layup by Rodrigue Beaubois boosted Strasbourg's lead to 7-4. The visitors missed 7 shots and committed 4 turnovers in the first seven minutes, so head coach Ergin Ataman tried a taller lineup with Davis and Lasme together on court. Davis immediately delivered with a mid-range jumper. Strasbourg could not find the way to the basket and a layup by Micov gave Galatasaray its first lead, 7-8, at the end of a low-scoring, but very intense first quarter.
Second quarter: Strasbourg keeps all options open
Matt Howard finished a three-chance Strasbourg offense with a put-back layup early in the quarter. Davis kept pushing Galatasaray with a fadeaway jumper, which Micov followed with an uncontested layup for a 9-12 Galatasaray margin. Howard split free throws and Davis hit 2 attempts to make it a 4-point game. Collins got the crowd involved with a wild driving layup that Curtis Jerrells erased with a stop-and-pop jumper. Lasme took over with an off-balance three-point play, prompting the hosts to call timeout at 12-19. Weems stepped up with a driving layup, which Bangaly Fofana followed with an alley-oop slam for a 16-19 score. Caleb Green and Davis split foul shots, but Campbell brought Strasbourg within 2. Collins shined with a fast break layup and matched Micov's mid-range jumper with a driving basket that tied it at 23-23. A free throw by Micov fixed the halftime score at 23-24.
Third quarter: Micov shines and keeps Galatasaray ahead
Lasme made free throws immediately after the break and a coast-to-coast layup by Micov made it a 5-point game. Beaubois rescued Strasbourg with a step-back corner triple, but Errick McCollum buried a baseline jumper and Schilb added a layup for a 26-32 Galatasaray lead. Micov nailed an acrobatic jumper, which Campbell bettered with a three-pointer. Davis hit a fallaway jumper – and moved into second place on the Eurocup's all-time scoring charts - before McCollum and Campbell exchanged layups. A dunk by Fofana got Strasbourg within 33-38. Schilb struck from downtown, but Weems shined with an outstanding slam and Collins added a running jumper that caused Galatasaray to stop the game at 37-41. Jerrells scored in penetration and Micov added free throws, but Campbell and Leloup buried back-to-back three-pointers to bring the crowd to its feet at 43-45.
Fourth quarter: Howard leads late charge for the hosts
Schilb buried another three-pointer early in the quarter, but Leloup answered from downtown. Sinan Guler took over with his trademark one-handed floater, as Lasme headed back to the bench with 4 fouls. Fofana made free throws, but Davis matched those with a big basket in the low post. Leloup fired in yet another one from beyond the arc and Campbell joined the three-point shootout to put Strasbourg ahead, 54-52, with seven minutes left. Schilb made free throws, but Beaubois found Howard for a two-handed slam. After a Galatasaray timeout, Schilb missed from outside and Campbell set up Howard for another score. McCollum stepped up with his first three to make it 58-57 with less than three minutes to go. Howard attacked the offensive glass, drew a foul and sank free throws to keep Strasbourg in front. After McCollum split free throws, Leloup sank a pair. Davis committed his fifth foul on an offensive foul and Howard scored via goaltending. The fans broke into La Marselleise as Campbell free throws capped an 8-1 run to make it 66-58 with a minute to go. Micov sank free throws with a minute remaining. After each team missed, Schilb shined with a basket-plus-foul with 27 seconds left that set the final score at 66-62.
Friday, April 22, 2016