Regular Season, Round 10: For 24 teams, mission complete!
The 2014-15 Eurocup Regular Season has come to an end. CEZ Basketball Nymburk claimed the final open ticket to the Last 32 stage on Tuesday and a day later Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas completed perfect regular seasons. Now the teams await the final games in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season to see how the Last 32 groups will look!
In an all-French showdown on Tuesday, Paris Levallois beat Strasbourg 71-75 to clinch third place in the group. Blake Schilb scored 23 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting to lead Paris, which improved to 5-5. The loss dropped Strasbourg to 8-2; both of its losses came against Paris. Nicolas Lang and Schilb hit back-to-back threes for a commanding 49-58 Paris lead late in the third quarter. Strasbourg came back to within 3 in the closing minutes, but Paris made its free throws in the final minute to ice the win. On Wednesday, Kevin Lisch hit a three-pointer with 4.4 seconds to go as CAI Zaragoza edged Brose Baskets Bamberg 78-76 after coming back from a double-digit deficit. CAI knew it would finish fourth, and Bamberg second, regardless of the outcome. Bamberg used a 3-21 third quarter run that turned an 8-point deficit into a 45-55 lead, but the hosts had enough time to melt the deficit and in a dramatic finish get a victory. Jason Robinson netted 19 points for the winners. In a battle of two previously eliminated teams, Telekom Baskets Bonn defeated Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 101-87 in an offensive-minded game that saw the visitors hit 16 of 33 three-point shots against Bonn's 13 of 25. Angelo Caloiaro led the winners with 19 points, Benas Veikalas added 18 on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, while Eugene Lawrence got 14 points and 10 assists for Bonn.
After trailing by as many as 14 points, Telenet Ostend rallied to down FoxTown Cantu 83-77 and finish the regular season in second place in Group B. Ostend finished with 6-4 record, and thanks to its higher cumulative score difference finished, ahead of 6-4 JDA Dijon. Cantu led for the first three quarters before John Prince got Ostend's offense going. An 11-0 run in the fourth put the hosts finally in front, 73-65. Prince paced the winners with 19 points. In another rally from a 14-point deficit, JDA Dijon edged Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck 69-65 after trailing for most of the night. The hosts only took over the lead in the final minute of the game, after rallying behind Andre Harris and his 21 points. In its Eurocup debut season, Dijon advances to the Last 32 from the third place. Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas defeated ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne 73-66 to complete a perfect regular season. The hosts led by 16 in the third quarter before ASVEL reeled off 11 straight points to get back in the game. However, Gran Canaria scored on nearly every possession in the closing minutes to keep ASVEL at bay. DaJuan Summers led the winners with 14 points.
The final remaining ticket to the Last 32 was handed out after the first game in Round 10 when CEZ Basketball Nymburk defeated Baloncesto Seville 91-82 after overtime to advance. Tre Simmons took charge in money time for the hosts with 15 points and 7 assists in the fourth quarter and overtime. He fished the game with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists for Nymburk, which improved to 5-5 and eliminated both EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Proximus Spirou Charleroi. Ondrej Balvin stood out for Seville with 13 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks; his rebounding total was the third-most in a Eurocup game and the most in over a decade. On Wednesday, SLUC Nancy crushed Charleroi 87-62 to clinch second place. Nancy controlled the contest for most of the night, but broke the game open with an 18-3 third quarter run for a 63-46 lead, and never looked back. On a balanced attack, Ryan Reid led Nancy with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. EWE Baskets Oldenburg downed Virtus Rome 80-66 to finish its Eurocup campaign on a winning note. Adam Chubb led in victory with 16 points, and Casper Ware netted 15 on 5-for-11 three-point shooting.
Khimki Moscow Region downed Zenit St. Petersburg 90-68 in the Russian derby to seal first place with 8-2 record. Khimki used a 12-2 run early in the third quarter to take a 59-50 margin, then made a 12-3 charge at the midway point of the last quarter en route to a comfortable victory. Tyrese Rice led the way with 21 points on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown plus 6 assists. Already eliminated Szolnoki Olaj edged Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul 67-68 for its first-ever Eurocup road win in its last game in the competition this season. Olaj led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but Besiktas rallied and the game went down to the wire; free throws from Marton Bader won the game for the visitors. Lazeric Jones paced the winners with 18 points and David Vojvoda added 13 in victory. Union Olimpija Ljubljana blasted VEF Riga 90-61 in the final game in Group D. Olimpija outscored VEF in each of the quarters in a convincing victory as Blaz Mahkovic paced the winners with 15 points.
Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd defeated Banvit Bandirma 80-68, but it proved to be a Pyrrhic victory as Banvit maintained its tiebreak advantage over Oktyabr to clinch second place in Group E. Both teams finish the regular season with 6-4 records after a game in which Oktyabr used a 12-2 run that bridged the last two quarters to take a comfortable 65-51 lead, but was unable to get a large enough margin to get the tie-breaker on its side. Randy Culpepper scored 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from long distance and delivered 5 assists while Romeo Travis tallied 19 points with 6 rebounds in victory. Previously eliminated Partizan NIS Belgrade downed CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 65-85 on the road to finish its Eurocup debut season in style. Milan Macvan led the winners with 23 points on 8-of-9 two-point shooting, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in less than 26 minutes. Luka Bogdanovic added 15 points for Partizan, which broke the game open with a 0-22 run for 42-73 lead at the end of the third quarter. Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius beat Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 98-88 to complete its regular season in style and finish atop Group E with an 8-2 record. The difference-maker was a 12-2 run late in the fourth quarter that got Rytas to 94-81 with two and a half minutes left in the game. Martynas Gecevicius and Antanas Kavaliauskas scored 17 points apiece for the winners, while Bracey Wright had an outstanding performance by scoring 30 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting for the visitors.
Malcolm Delaney and Derrick Brown led the way as Lokomotiv Kuban defeated Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir 85-93 to finish the regular season with a perfect record. Delaney scored 24, Brown 21 and each dished 5 assists for the winners, who led by 9 after 10 minutes. D.J. Strawberry paced Karsiyaka with 21 points. PAOK Thessaloniki edged Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 76-81 after overtime in the Montenegrin capital to clinch second place in the group. PAOK finished second due to its tie-break advantage against Karsyaka. Buducnost was fourth with a 3-7 record and qualified to the Last 32 due to its two wins against Stelmet Zielona Gora. Julian Vaughn led the winners with 17 points. Down 4 in the final minute, Omar Cook and Vladimir Dasic stepped up big to lead Buducnost to overtime, 73-73. Howver PAOK improved its defense in the extra period while Kevin Langford and J.R. Bremer took care of business in crunch time. Stelmet Zielona Gora bested Ventpsils 51-58 on the road to avoid finishing last in the group. Quinton Hosley led the winners with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Daniel Johnson added 11 points.
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