There was no doubt about who deserved the win on Tuesday night as hosting Galatasaray Cafe Crown blasted GasTerra Flames by a clear 86-58 to roll into the Last 16 from Group E. The win lifts Galatasaray to a 4-1 record that secures a Last 16 berth for the Turkish team while Bennet Cantu and Panellinios BC will fight for the other in the last regular season week. With a double-digit lead already after 10 minutes, Galatasaray never saw its lead threatened by the GasTerra Flames, who dropped to 1-4 in the standings. Preston Shumpert led the winners with his 18 points, Rado Rancik added 15 and Joshua Shipp posted 13 for Galatasaray, For the guests, Matt Haryasz was the only to score in double digits with 13 points.
The game started with an 11-2 Galatasaray run capped by Luksa Andric as a foresight of things to come. Haryasz started scoring soon for the Flames, but mainly from the free throw line until Jason Dourisseau joined in with a three to make it 17-13. However, a new 6-0 capped by Shipp's free throws left things at 23-13 after 10 minutes. The Flames managed to settle down a little in the second period and resisted the charge a little better. With better defense on the court, Henry Bekkering put the deficit below the 10-point mark but Ermal Kuqo and Shumpert kept Galatasaray out of the danger zone, 29-20. After a few plays with no points, John Turek made it a 6-point game at 31-25 but it was a mirage as when the teams hit the lockerrooms, Shipp had allowed the hosts to retain the 10-point lead, 39-29.
The third quarter only had one owner, and that was Galatasaray. With smothering defense over the Flames, the hosts also had good shooting accuracy and soon had pulled away to 51-35 after Shumpert's three. Starting there, a new 10-0 run for the hosts capped by Shumpert again with a new three, put a 61-37 on the scoreboard that erased all memories left from the first half for the guests. The last quarter was a mere formality in which Galatasaray cruised to the final buzzer. Coach Mahmuti had time to play his whole roster available for the game. The Flames never stopped working an improved on both ends, but Galatasaray still managed to take the quarter to finally roll into the Last 16.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010