Despite missing its top scorer in Eurocup play this season, Asefa Estudiantes ambushed Galatasaray Cafe Crown for a resounding 57-68 road win in Istanbul on Tuesday to stay undefeated in Group K. The victory left Estudiantes and Caserta, which also won on the road Tuesday, tied for first place at 2-0 each. Galatasaray fell to 0-2 along with CEZ Nymburk, making their game next week practically do-or-die. Estudiantes shook off the absence of scoring forward Hernan "Pancho" Jasen and took over a close game late in the third quarter. Big man Josh Asselin paced the winners with 16 points in 17 minutes on 7-for-10 two-point shooting. Otherwise, it was a team effort on offense, with Daniel Clark coming off the bench for 10 points, while Sergio Sanchez and Marc Blanch contributed 9 each for Estudiantes and Jayson Granger doled out 6 assists. Galatasaray suffered from poor 2-for-23 three-point shooting, or 8%, failing to take advantage of the 20 turnovers it forced on Estudiantes. Luksa Andric led the hosts with 14 points, while Jerry Johnson added 11 and Ermal Kuqo 10 in 13 minutes. Better bench scoring, 18-39 in favor of Estudiantes, was decisive.
Asselin scored alone before Granger stole and assisted Jiri Welsch for a fastbreak as Estudiantes jumped in front 1-4. Andric finally scored for Galatasaray, which opened way for Johnson to tie on a triple and Joshua Shipp to give the hosts their first lead, 8-6. Nik Caner-Medley's three-point play followed by Granger's third assist, to Asselin, put Estudiantes back in front. Radoslav Rancik and Andric responded with 6 points in a row for Galatasaray, but Sanchez detonated a triple to make it 14-14. Sanchez kept rolling with a pair of layups, but could not prevent Galatasaray from holding a 21-20 lead after 10 minutes. The Estudiantes bench, with 5 points between Blanch and German Gabriel, opened the second quarter by taking a 21-25 lead. Kuqo and Preston Shumpert tied for Galatasaray before Blanch blasted his second triple at 25-28, forcing a timeout. Another bench player, Clark, copied Blanch from deep to make it 25-31 for Estudiantes, but Kuqo spun, hooked and hit the accompanying free throw to rally the hosts. When his next shot, a back-door layup, banked in, it was 30-31 and Estudiantes needed a timeout. A nice pass from Clark to Asselin revived the visitors, but seconds later Evren Buker drilled a triple for a 33-33 tie. Kuqo did the honors, putting Galatasary in front again, but Granger fed Blanch for another three-pointer at 35-36. Granger's third foul hurt the visitors, as did back-to-back hustle baskets by Taylor Rochestie and Buker as Galatasaray went ahead 39-36. However, free throws by Albert Oliver, Clark and Sanchez finished the half with Estudiantes taking back the lead at 39-41.
Points were scarce as both teams battled to take control of the scoreboard after halftime. Rancik forced two ties with baskets inside before Johnson put Galatasaray back in front, 45-43 on a layup. Caner-Medley answered with a dunk, however, that Asselin soon followed with a basket-plus-free throw combination. By the time Asselin dunked almost 90 seconds later, Estudiantes had the game's biggest run, 0-8, and was in charge again, 45-51. Andric stopped the bleeding with free throws for Galatasaray, but Oliver matched him with a jumper as the visitors led 48-53 after 3 quarters. Gabriel stepped back to blast a triple as Estudiantes took the game's biggest lead, 48-56, to start the final quarter. Now the Galatasaray defense kicked into gear, blanking Estudiantes over 4 minutes as Andric and Rochestie cut the difference to 52-56. Granger reappeared then, with his sixth assist on a triple by Clark and a layup of his own, re-opening a 52-61 advantage. Andric and Buker tried to respond, but Ellis and Clark kept Estudiantes going to a double-digit lead, 55-65, that was more than enough to escape Istanbul with a good-as-gold road win in Group K.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011