Joventut holds off Nanterre
Joventut Badalona overcame a 10-point first-quarter deficit to claim a 95-90 victory over visiting Nanterre 92 at Palau Olimpic on Wednesday night. The hosts claimed their second win on as many games to stay atop Group E, while the visitors dropped to 0-2. Joventut used offensive rebounding to stay into the game before halftime and collected timely three-pointers bridging the third and fourth quarters to amass a double-digit lead, 88-77, that Nanterre couldn’t make up for in the last minutes. Vladimir Brodziansky led the winners with 17 points and 6 rebounds, followed by Shaw Dawson, Ante Tomic and Nenad Dimitrijevic who scored 16, 14 and 12, respectively. Tyler Stone recorded career-high 26 points on 11-of-19 field goal shooting, while Chris Warren and Isaia Cordinier contributed 19 apiece and Alpha Kaba added 10 in defeat.
Both teams enjoyed impressive offensive performances in the early going for a 9-10 score after just 3 minutes. Five points in a row by Stone and free throws by Kaba helped the guests build a 10-17 lead, as the hosts lacked accuracy from deep. Ferran Bassas and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui broke the trend with back-to-back threes to make it a 1-point game, but Cordinier answered in style, scoring 10 points in a 4-13 run to keep Nanterre comfortably in front 20-30 at the end of the first quarter. Brodziansky showed up with a put-back slam and a three to bring the hosts within 28-30 early in the second, although the comeback was unfinished as Nanterre kept ruining Joventut’s outside shooting. Offensive rebounding allowed the hosts to stay close, 40-42, and free throws by Tomic and Bassas helped Joventut get the lead back, 46-44, soon after. A timely three-pointer by Stone was replied by a free throw from Simon Birgander to keep it all square, 47-47, at halftime.
Dawson and Tomic took over after the break to make up for Cordinier’s scoring, pushing Joventut to a 58-55 lead. Kaba tried to help the visitors inside, but Tomic was already pulling the strings all over the place; he first assisted Dawson and then scored a layup to extend the margin to 62-57 midway through the third quarter. Stone showed up with 9 points in a row for Nanterre, but could not prevent the hosts from entering the last quarter in control 73-66 after back-to-back three-pointers by Morgan. The visitors didn’t panic, though, as Warren strung together a couple of layups and a three to make it tight again, 76-73. Joventut reacted quickly and found consecutive three-pointers from Lopez-Arostegui and Brodziansky to get a double-digit advantage, 86-75. That difference remained until Johnny Berhanemeskel appeared with a three and a layup to get Nanterre within 93-88 entering the last minute. Joventut used a timeout to reorganize and with a pair of free throws by Dimitrejevic was able to seal the win.
Nanterre 92 managed to keep Joventut's shooters at unusually low accuracy levels from long distance for almost 30 minutes. The hosts were 6 of 20 on three-pointers after 29 minutes, when they led 67-66. But Conor Morgan, Nenad Dimitrijevic, Xabi Lopez-Arostegui and Vladimir Brodziansky combined to shoot 5-for-5 from deep to help the home team build a double-digit advantage.
Rebound to survive
Before that scoring spurt, the hosts managed to stay in the game thanks to their offensive rebounding. They got 11 of their total 13 offensive boards in the first half, allowing the shooters to wait for the right moment to show up after the break.
Tyer Stone (26), Chris Warren (19) and Isaia Cordinier (19) each scored more points than any Joventut player, but their effort could not be used by the visitors to earn the first Top 16 victory.
In Top 16 Round 3 next week, Joventut Badalona will stay at home to fight against AS Monaco for first place in Group E on Tuesday, January 26. Nanterre 92 will play again on the road as it visits Unicaja Malaga the day after.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021