Fenerbahce Ulker ousting Cholet 93-61
Fenerbahce Ulker finished second in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Group C by downing Cholet Basket 93-61 in front of over 10,000 fans at Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday night. FB Ulker bounced back from consecutive losses and reached the Top 16 with a 7-3 record. Meanwhile, Cholet lost the chance to reach the Top 16 in Group C, as its loss, combined with Lietuvos Rytas' win in Zagreb, allowed the Lithuanian powerhouse to stay alive in the competition. Due to its tie-break disadvantage against L. Rytas, Cholet was fifth with a 4-6 record. Darjus Lavrinovic led the winners with 18 points. Kaya Peker added 13, Emir Preldzic had 11 while Mirsad Turkcan got 10 for Fenerbahce. Sammy Mejia led Cholet with 17 points. Cholet opened the game with a 2-12 run but Fener slowly but steadily found answers in offense to tie the game, 16-16, after 10 minutes. An outstanding Turkcan helped the hosts to get a 38-30 lead at halftime. Fener boosted its margin to 59-43 after 30 minutes and then again to 75-48 to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
Claude Marquis got Cholet going with a put-back layup, as the hosts could not find to way to the basket early in the game. Mamoutou Diarra took over with an acrobatic reverse layup and DeMarcus Nelson scored in transition for a 0-6 Cholet lead. Fenerbahce missed his 6 opening shots and a three-point play by Nelson made all fans at Sinan Erdem Dome start to wonder, 0-9. Roko Ukic beat the buzzer with a floating jumper that Antywane Robinson bettered with a big triple that made it a double-digit game, 2-12. Omer Onan answered from downtown and Tarence Kinsey joined the three-point shootout to get Fener within 8-14. Oguz Savas made free throws, as Cholet had started to miss easy shots. Turkcan sank a jump hook in the low post that Christophe Leonard matched with a layup, good for a 12-16 Cholet lead. Kinsey got the crowd involved with an alleyoop layup and a close jumper by Turkcan tied the game, 16-16, after 10 minutes.
Marquis scored down low early in the second quarter, giving Cholet its last lead of the game at 16-18. Turkcan quickly answered from downtown, as Fenerbahce kept powering the offensive board. Preldzic finished a three-chance Fener offense with a layup and Sean May scored around the basket to make it a five-point game, 23-18, after a 7-0 run. Randal Falker tried to change things with a power layup and the free throw that came with it but the hosts kept excelling in defense. Meanwhile, a baseline jumper by Lynn Greer ignited a 6-0 run that May capped with a layup to boost the hosts' lead to 29-21. Marquis took over with a reverse layup and Falker added a floating jumper but Savas and Peker kept FB Ulker way ahead, 33-25. Mejia and Ukic traded three-pointers but a tip-in by Falker gave Cholet some hope at 36-30. Free throws by Onan fixed the halftime score at 38-30.
Lavrinovic scored in the paint right after the break and matched Vule Avdalovic's driving basket with a baseline jumper to give Fener a 42-32 margin. Falker had consecutive blocks on Marko Tomas, as the guets tried to play more physical to return to the game. Antywane Robinson scored in the paint but a red hot Lavrinovic answered with a dunk. Mejia shined with a big basket in penetration but Onan answered from downtown for a 47-36 score. Lavrinovic and Nelson traded layups and Luc-Arthur Vebobe keep the guests within 50-39. Turkcan picked up a loose ball and fed Lavrinovic for a two-handed dunk and a three-pointer by Greer broke the game open, 55-40. Vebobe split free throws and Mejia added a put-back basket but Preldzic sent the crowd to their feet with a big triple. Fener kept playing with great intensity at both ends and a free throw by Peker gave the hosts a 16-point lead, 59-43, after 30 minutes.
Savas split free throws early in the fourth quarter, as Cholet tried its most physical lineup to speed up the game tempo. Vebobe provided a highlight with a put-back dunk but more foul shots by Savas and a fast break layup by Preldzic sealed the outcome, 65-45, with over 7 minutes left. Diarra tried to change things with a power basket but a layup by Ukic and a wild fast break dunk off a steal by Kinsey forced Cholet to stop the game at 69-47. Bad news for Cholet had started to arrive from Zagreb, as L. Rytas had a double-digit lead against Cibona. Peker set the crowd on fire with a monster dunk and added a floating hook shot to make it a 27-point game, 75-48. Cholet kept trying but everything was said and done already. Fener finished Group C with a convincing, well-deserved home win while Cholet leaves the competition ready to defend its French League title to get back to Europe's signature club competition next season.
Thursday, December 23, 2010