Pullen, Mornar snap skid against Metropolitans
Snapping its three-game losing streak and increasing its chances to reach the Top 16, Mornar Bar never trailed en route to an 89-78 win over visiting Boulogne Metropolitans 92 on Wednesday. Mornar lifted its record to 4-5, good for fourth place in Group B, while already-qualified Metropolitans saw its five-game winning streak broken and dropped to 5-3. Mornar had an early 25-10 lead behind great three-point shooting, but Metropolitans rallied before halftime, erasing the deficit. The visitors never went in front, however, as Jacob Pullen got Mornar going again late in the second and early in the third quarter. The hosts restored their double-digit lead, then used a 13-2 fourth-quarter run to ice the game. Pullen shined with 27 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting, while Kenny Gabriel and Isaiah Whitehead scored 12 apiece in victory. Bastien Pinault scored 16 for Metropolitans while Assem Marei had 15 points plus 8 rebounds. Anthony Brown scored 13, Brandon Brown 12 and Archie Goodwin 10 points in defeat.
Mornar started on fire as Pullen and Gabriel hit corner triples to make it 8-0. After Anthony Brown hit the first points for the visitors, triples from Nemanja Vranjes and Pullen, followed by a three-point play from Uros Lukovic, opened 17-2 Mornar advantage after only 4:14 was played. Metropolitans got it going with back-to-back threes from David Michineau and Maxime Roos, but Vranjes and Pullen did the same to make it 25-10. Baskets from Michineau and Pinault closed the gap again before Whitehead's buzzer-beating triple, Mornar's seventh already, ended the first quarter at 32-20. Metropolitans cut the deficit to 36-28 with a three-point play from Goodwin and a triple from Pinault. Aleksandar Lazic had a monster dunk for the hosts, but Brandon Brown's triple sparked a 0-12 run during which he and Goodwin added fastbreak layups to tie 42-42. But Pullen responded with 5 points in 2 minutes for Mornar to hold a 49-44 halftime lead. Mornar started strong after the break. Dunks by Gabriel and Lukovic before a three-pointer from Pullen and a fastbreak pirouette from Whitehead made it 62-49. Anthony Brown and Brandon Brown, with a triple apiece, cut the difference to 66-58, but after Pullen Taylor Smith answered, Pinault's triple made it 73-63 after 30 minutes. Pinault and Brandon Brown each had a jumper to keep Metropolitans close, but Marko Jeremic's three-point and 5 points by Needham made it 85:69 with 5:15 to go. The visitors didn't score for almost 5 minutes as the margin reached 19 points to put the outcome out of reach, although Metropolitans worked to trim the difference and win the tiebreak possibility between the two teams.
Jacob Pullen shined again with 27 points, making 4 of 8 two-pointers and 5 of 7 threes. It marked the fifth time in eight games that Pullen has scored more than 20 points.
Early three-point boost
The hosts shot 6-for-7 on three-pointers in the game's first 7 minutes and were 7-for-9 by the end of the first quarter. They then cooled off, not hitting another until the third quarter, and made just 3 of 15 the rest of the way. But their early marksmanship gave them the momentum that counted
Metropolitans learned that it had qualified for the Top 16 on Tuesday, but still made sure to win the tiebreaker. After having beaten Mornar back in Round 4 by 13 points, the visitors managed to cut the final deficit in this one to 11.
Metropolitans swingman Archie Goodwin made his EuroCup debut a good one. Goodwin finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds along with 2 assists for a PIR of 24.
Metropolitans resumes action on Friday as it travels 50 kilometers north to the Montenegrin capital to face Buducnost VOLI Podgorica in a rescheduled Round 7 game. Mornar's next opponent is also Buducnost, as the two teams will engage in a Montenegrin derby in Round 10.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020