ASVEL downs Bayern to end losing streak
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne snapped a six-game losing streak with tough defense in grabbing a 75-65 victory over FC Bayern Munich. Jordan Taylor and Adreian Payne paced ASVEL with 15 points each while Tonye Jekiri scored 12 points to go with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals and David Lighty added 10 points. ASVEL won for the first time in 2020 to improve to 9-14. Bayern got 14 points each from Vladimir Lucic and Mathias Lessort but they were not enough as the German champion dropped its eighth game out of the last nine to fall to 7-16.
Rihards Lomazs hit a three-pointer to start the game for the home side and Payne’s triple made it 7-3. Maodo Lo was on target from long range for Bayern, but Taylor’s three-point play put ASVEL up 12-8. The French champion was held scoreless for more than 3 minutes, but Bayern could only tie the game at 12-12. The visitors ended the first quarter on a 2-6 surge to lead 16-18 after 10 minutes. The game remained tight until Bayern got a three-point play from Lucic and then back-to-back three-pointers from Joshua Huestis and Lucic for a 22-29 lead. Taylor and Payne responded with 4 points each in getting ASVEL within 30-31 and the score was 34-35 at the break.
Petteri Koponen’s three-pointer early in the second half had Bayern up 37-40. T.J. Bray committed an unsportsmanlike foul, which resulted in a Taylor free throw and Lighty three-pointer. A Jekiri basket put the home side up 46-40. Zan Sisko snapped a 3-minute scoreless drought for Bayern, but Jekiri’s next basket had ASVEL up 51-45. Bayern followed with the next 6 points to knot the game 51-51 before Lomazs's three-pointer at the buzzer made it 54-51 ASVEL after 30 minutes. Lucic trimmed the gap to 54-53, but Bayern committed four straight turnovers and Payne and Taylor both drained three-pointers in a 12-0 surge for a 66-53 lead with 7 minutes to play. Lessort stepped up with 6 straight points while grabbing 3 offensive rebounds as the deficit was down to 66-59. But Jekiri calmed the ASVEL fans’ nerves with a jumper, block, offensive rebound and assist on Livio Jean-Charles's free throw to push the advantage to 72-59 with 2 minutes to play. Bayern would not get closer than 9 points the rest of the way.
Jekiri slowly finding early season form
Tonye Jekiri was one of the biggest stars of the early EuroLeague season as he collected five double-doubles in the first eight games. But the ASVEL center went 10 games without scoring in double figures until his 11 points in Round 22 against Zalgiris Kaunas. Jekiri tallied 12 points to make it back-to-back games in double-figure scoring. Any chances of ASVEL challenging for a playoffs spot would rely on Jekiri continuing that production.
Bayern still winless outside of Germany
After blowing a 20-point lead in the last round in losing at AX Armani Exchange Milan, Bayern still has not yet won a game outside of Germany. Bayern’s only road victory this season came at ALBA Berlin in the German capital in Round 14.
Bayern held ASVEL to 31.6 percent on three-pointers, but the visitors committed 22 turnovers, which ASVEL turned into 24 points compared to 15 Bayern points off turnovers.
ASVEL heads to Spain looking for its first two-game winning streak since Rounds 15 and 16 when it faces KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday. Bayern returns home in hopes of snapping its losing streak as it hosts Valencia Basket the following day.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020