Kahudi helps ASVEL hold off Trento
Charles Kahudi scored 9 fourth-quarter points to help LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne hold off a late charge and beat Dolomiti Energia Trento 75-61 on Tuesday night. After trailing by as many as 16 points in the quarter, Nikola Radicevic helped Trento fight back to within 1 in the fourth. Kahudi sparked ASVEL at both ends for a 12-0 run to claim the team's first win of the 7DAYS EuroCup campaign. Both teams now have 1-1 records. Kahudi finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Amine Noua and Mantas Kalnietis added 15 points each and Eric Buckner 10. Kalnietis also contributed 6 assists. Dustin Hogue paced Trento with 16 points, Nikola Jovanovic scored 12 and Radicevic 11.
With Hogue's 6 points the only scoring for the visitors in the first nine minutes, ASVEL was able to break out to a promising start. A.J. Slaughter's long jumper gave ASVEL its first double-digit lead. Andrea Mezzanotte ended the Trento drought with a shot from the corner and a Diego Flaccadori free throws ended the first quarter at 18-9. Davide Pascolo scored the first 5 points of the second quarter before Buckner – with a block at one end and a floater at the other – restored ASVEL's confidence. The hosts' big man scored twice more in a 12-0 run that saw ASVEL double Trento up, 32-16. The margin was 37-25 at the break. Hogue carried Trento to within 5 midway through the third quarter, however, triples by Noua and Kalnietis got the home team rolling back to a 10-point lead, which settled at 56-48 through three quarters. Trento's Fabio Mian hit back-to-back threes to start the fourth quarter as the visitors rallied to 60-59, but ASVEL kept them scoreless for the next five minutes while scoring 12 unanswered points to put the game away.
With the score tied 60-59, it appeared to be anyone's game. However Charles Kahudi did not give in and sparked a 15-2 charge over the final seven minutes to close out the win. He was once of four ASVEL players with multiple steals, joining DeMarcus Nelson, Theo Maledon and Eric Buckner. With ASVEL's guards harassing their counterparts and Eric Buckner and Miro Bilan controlling the paint, the ASVEL defense was strong enough to claim a much-needed one.
Eric Buckner only signed with ASVEL a week ago and made his EuroCup debut in this game in which he played a key role in the victory. He posted 10 points of 4-of-5 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in just 18 minutes off the bench. Buckner helped ASVEL take control in the second quarter with savvy buckets and strong defense, without which the game may have gone in a different direction.
Dustin Hogue was the heart of the Trento fight for the night. He started the game strong with 6 early points, which was all Trento had eight minutes into the game. Hogue then came alive for the second time in the third quarter as his team sliced away at its deficit. Using his speed against ASVEL's big men, Hogues drew 10 fouls in addition to his 16 points and 6 boards for another strong effort.
Both teams play at home next week in Round 3; ASVEL looks for a second straight win when it hosts Turk Telekom Ankara on Tuesday. Trento welcomes Zenit St. Petersburg in a pivotal clash.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018