Hatcher leads PAOK past Besiktas in overtime
PAOK Thessaloniki kept its Last 32 hopes alive and kicking with a 73-75 overtime victory over Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul on Wednesday at the Sinan Erdem Dome. Hatcher starred with 32 points, including 2 free throws to tie it with 7 seconds left in overtime and a pull-up jumper to win it. In between, his defense forced Besiktas guard Nate Wolters into a backcourt violation that gave PAOK the extra shot to win it. The result lifted PAOK to 3-5 in Group E alongside Besiktas and Szolnoki Olaj. However Besiktas, which beat PAOK by 20 in Round 3 in Greece, retained the potential tiebreak advantage between the sides. Kostas Vasileiadis added 10 points for the winners. Wolters led Besiktas with 16 points, Erik Murphy posted 14 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks, Cenk Akyol scored 12 – including a triple that sent the game to overtime – and Tremmell Darden 11.
The teams looked evenly matched at the start; there were six different leads in the first eight minutes and neither team led by more than a shot until Darden put Besiktas ahead 17-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Besiktas defense held the visitors scoreless for 10 full minutes bridging the first and second quarters, during which the hosts reeled off 14 straight points. Nikola Markovic scored 5 quick pointes to rejuvenate PAOK at 23-17, but another run, this time 11-0 led by Lamont Hamilton and Wolters, saw Besiktas double up its opponent. A Vasileiadis three-pointer made it 34-20 at halftime.
The teams traded blows to start the second half before PAOK broke loose with a 2-14 charge to get back in that game at 42-39. Hatcher scored 5 and Evangelos Margaritis 4 in the PAOK run. Murphy rescued Besiktas, but Margaritis free throws brought PAOK within 45-41 through three quarters. Murphy opened the fourth quarter with a shot from downtown, but before long Georgios Dedas answered with a three and Hatcher had PAOK within 48-47. Murphy connected from deep again and Besiktas led 53-49 midway through the fourth. Back-to-back threes by Uros Duvnjak and Hatcher and a three-point play by the latter put PAOK in control. Darden made it 55-58 with two minutes remaining. Even though Besiktas was unable to come up with a defensive stop, a missed free throw by Hatcher gave Akyol the opportunity to tie it at 62-62 with a three with 7 seconds remaining and force overtime.
Akyol’s baseline jumper made it 68-66 with two minutes on the clock, but Hatcher tied it from the line. After Hatcher and Akyol traded threes, it was 72-71 with 45 seconds remaining. After Murphy split free throws, Hatcher tied it at 73-73 with 2 from the line with 7 seconds to go. Hatcher forced Wolters into a backcourt violation, which allotted the visitors a final possession. Hatcher buried a long pull-up jumper that proved to be the difference as PAOK celebrated.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015