Olympiacos took care of SLUC Nancy 74-79
Olympiacos BC Pireaus finished second in regular season Group A by edging SLUC Nancy 74-79 at the Palais des Sports Jean Weille in France on Thursday. Olympiacos finished this group with a 6-4 second and was second due to its tie-break disadvantage with Fenerbahce Ulker. As such, the Reds avoided Montepaschi Siena, Panathinaikos BC Athens and Maccabi Electra in the upcoming Top 16 draw, which takes place next Wednesday. Nancy was sixth in Group A with a 3-7 record. Pero Antic led the winners with 20 points. Georgios Printezis added 18 while Kyle Hines pulled down 12 boards for Olympiacos. Jamal Shuler led Nancy with 18 points. Adrien Moerman added 11 while Victor Samnick had 10 for the hosts. Nancy had 12-of-16 two-pointers in the first quarter, as an outstanding Shuler helped the hosts to get a 27-21 after 10 minutes. Shuler got some help from Pape-Phillipe Amagou and Kenny Gregory to give Nancy a 43-34 margin late in the first half. Antic and Kostas Sloukas fueled an 1-17 run that gave Olympiacos a 44-51 marguin right after the break. Nancy answered with its own 16-2 run that Shuler capped with free throws to regain a 60-53 margin. Nancy led 64-56 but Antic and Printezis combined for 13 points in a 0-17 run that gave the Reds the lead for good, 64-73. Nancy managed to get within 74-77 but Kenny Grant missed from downtown and Printezis sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Printezis got Olympiacos going with a layup in transition that Shuler matched with a close jumper. A driving layup by John Linehan soon gave Nancy a 4-2 lead. Kostas Papanikolaou split free throws but and Martynas Gecevicius improved Moerman's driving layup with a rainbow triple for a 6-6 tie. Linehan made 1-of-2 foul shots and Gregory took over with a reverse layup but Printezis kept the Reds within 9-8. Moerman followed free throws with a jump hook and a jumper by Shuler boosted the hosts' lead to 15-10. Shuler banked in a running jumper that Kalin Lucas erased with a layup in transition. Gregory shined with a big basket in the low post but Michalis Pelekanos quickly brought Olympiacos as close as 19-15. Shuler kept pacing Nancy with a backdoor layup and another jumper for a 23-15 Nancy margin. Hines shined with a put-back layup and Antic added free throws but back-to-back baskets by Samnick kept Nancy way ahead, 27-19. A driving layup by Evangelos Mantzaris brought the guests within 27-21 after 10 minutes.
Gecevicius struck from downtown early in the second quarter but a jump hook by Moussa Badiane and free throws by Amagou restored a 31-24 Nancy lead. Badiane scored around the basket and an unstoppable Shuler added an acrobatic jumper in transition to make it a double-digit game, 35-24, forcing Olympiacos to call timeout. Amagou capped a 10-0 run with a driving basket, as Olympiacos found a go-to guy in Antic. He stepped up with a jump hook and free throws and soon added a two-handed dunk to bring the Reds within 37-30. Amagou made free throws but Hines and Badiane traded dunks for a 41-32 score. Antic kept pacing the Reds with foul shots but a fast break layup by Gregory sent the crowd to their feet at 43-34. Sloukas scored around the basket and a free throw by Hines made it a six-point game, 43-37. Andreas Glyniadakis took over with a three-point play and a jump hook by Printezis brought the Reds within 43-42. A three-pointer by Printezis and a layup by Sloukas completed the guests' comeback, 44-47, at halftime.
Sloukas shined with a fast break layup right after the break, as Nancy kept struggling to score. A jump hook by an unstoppable Antic capped an 1-17 run that bridged between both halves. Shuler tried to change things with a fallaway jumper and Linehan nailed a three-pointer to bring Nancy back to life, 49-51. Shuler kept pacing Nancy with free throws and a fast break dunk by Badiane that put the hosts back ahead, 53-51. Pelekanos rescued Olympiacos with a layup in transition but he didnt find much help around. Meanwhile, Linehan made free throws and collected an inbound steal that allowed Grant to down a triple, good for a 58-53 Nancy margin. Shuler capped an 16-2 run with free throws, as Printezis brought Olympiacos within 60-55. Samnick banked in a turnaround jumper and soon added a driving basket to give Nancy a 64-56 margin. Antic took over with a layup in transition and added his trademark catch-and-shoot three-pointer to bring Olympiacos back to life, 64-61, after 30 minutes.
Lucas swished a jumper early in the fourth quarter, as Olympiacos had improved its defense and locked down its defensive board. Nancy had been scoreless for more than 4 minutes already and a wide open three-pointer by Printezis put the guests back ahead, 64-66, with 7 minutes to go. Olympiacos was all over the place in defense, forcing Nancy to use long possessions and take off-balance shots. Meanwhile, a layup by Kostas Papanikolaou made the hosts call timeout at 64-68. The hosts could not find the way to the basket and Antic buried another triple from the left wing to break the game open, 64-71. Printezis shined with a fast break layup that capped a 0-17 run. Samnick tried to change things with a put-back layup off another Nancy timeout and free throws by Moerman gave the hosts some hope, 68-73, with 2:53 left. Hines scored down low but Moerman answered from downtown for a 71-75 score. Sloukas made free throws but Grant buried a triple and Nancy regained possession. Grant missed from beyond the arc and free throws by Printezis allowed Olympiacos to get a very important win.
Thursday, December 22, 2011