U18 INSEP Paris kept alive its chances of winning the Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Qualifying Tournament – Kaunas by defeating U18 VEF Riga 82-75 in Group B. Jaylen Hoard totaled 22 points and 11 rebounds and Bathiste Tchouaffe collected 17 points and 10 rebounds for the 2010 continental champion INSEP, which improved to 1-1. Sekou Doumbouya chipped in with 15 points for INSEP, which can still move into a three-way tie with VEF and U18 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in Round 3 action later Saturday. INSEP led by 16 points with 7 minutes left in the game but watched as VEF closed the gap late. VEF is also still alive for a third straight spot in the ANGT Kaunas final despite dropping to 1-1. Nikolajs Zotovs paced VEF with 23 points, Toms Upe had 18 points, 4 assists and 6 steals and Niks Jansons scored 12 points. Karlis Garoza was held to 8 points and 9 rebounds as he dealt with foul trouble.
Tchouaffe started the game with 2 free throws and Ivan Fevrier’s steal and layup made it 4-0. INSEP could not take advantage of VEF’s early game struggles as the Latvian side missed its first four shots and turned the ball over 4 times before Garoza finally scored the team’s first points after 4 minutes of action. After a Hoard basket, VEF scored on its next 3 possessions to pull ahead 6-9. Olivier Saar hit 2 baskets to keep INSEP close but Zotovs’ 2 free throws had VEF up 12-16 after 10 minutes. Hoard added 4 points as INSEP opened the second quarter with a 7-0 spurt to nose ahead 19-16. Zotovs’ 2 free throws made it a 1-point game but INSEP began to pull away with Tchouaffe scoring 8 points and Nicolas Dorez hitting for 7 in a 15-5 run to go ahead 34-23. Matiss Sivins converted a three-point play for VEF and Zotovs trimmed the gap to 36-31. Doumbouya answered with 5 points as INSEP was leading 43-35 at intermission.
Upe opened the second half with a three-pointer but Doumbouya answered right back with a three-ball of his own and Thimotee Bazille pushed the margin at 10 points, 48-38. Sofiane Briki’s score temporarily increased the INSEP lead to 12 points at 54-42. VEF hit the next 4 points but Hoard and Timothe Vergiat knocked down three-pointers as the advantage grew to 62-48. Upe followed with a three-ball just before the quarter buzzer to trim the deficit to 62-51 after 30 minutes. Zotovs got it down to 62-53 to start the fourth, but Hoard responded with back-to-back baskets for a 13-point lead. Briki’s increased the margin to 71-55 with 7 minutes to play. After a VEF time out, Upe nailed a three-pointer to start a 0-9 run to close the deficit to 71-64 with 4 minutes remaining. Karlis Grigalunas and Jansons followed with three-pointers as the lead shrunk to 75-70 with 2 minutes left. Tchouaffe gave INSEP a bit of breathing room with a three-pointer to make it 78-70. Zotovs hit at the other end but Jansons made just 1 of 3 free throws with 35 seconds remaining as VEF trailed 78-73. Briki hit 2 free throws with 18 seconds to seal the victory.
Saturday, January 16, 2016