JSF Nanterre outlasts FoxTown Cantu 88-84 in double OT
The Last 32 opened for business in Group I with a true thriller Tuesday in Paris as JSF Nanterre outlasted FoxTown Cantu 88-84 in double overtime in the club's Eurocup debut. An incredible shooting performance Sergii Gladyr, who dropped 7 three-pointers in 11 tries on his way to 30 points, made the difference for Nanterre, which had led by a game-high 9 points late in the third quarter. Cantu inched back until Pietro Aradori's free throws forced the first overtime, while Deshaun Thomas did the same for Nanterre to force the second. Cantu led 78-79 before Gladyr brazenly pumped in his seventh triple, which ended the parade of lead changes and ties that marked the entire game. Gladyr added 9 of 11 free throws to reach 30 points without a single two-point shot made. After him, Nanterre got 12 points from David Lighty and 10 each from Thomas and Mam Jaiteh. Adrian Uter scored 25 points, Joe Ragland 23, Aradori 14, Michael Jenkins 12 and Stefano Gentile 10 for Cantu, while Marty Leunen pulled 12 rebounds without scoring a point.
Will Daniels started Nanterre's scoreboard from downtown while Cantu waited until Ragland got loose for a layup. Johan Passave's dunk and Trent Meacham's 5 points in a row weren't enough to keep Cantu from tying 10-10. But when Gladyr blasted a corner three and Lighty finished a break, the hosts were up 15-11. Aradori got in the scoring column and 37-year-old Denis Marconato, recently signed by Cantu, registered a block before Michael Jenkins' long two-pointer forged a 15-15 tie. Nanterre got free throws by Daniels and a lane jumper by Thomas to stay ahead 19-15 after 10 minutes. When Ragland and Gentile started and finished a 0-8 run with triples early in the second quarter, Cantu had its first lead, 23-25. Passave reclaimed it for Nanterre with back-to-back inside basket, but after two more ties, Ragland drove strong to give Cantu the slim edge, 29-31, at halftime.
Lighty's free throws and his banked runner put Nanterre in front again, 33-31, right after the break, but neither team could escape. One of the easiest baskets of the game saw Jenkins feed Uter for a huge slam, but next he put Gladyr on the free throw line for 3 shots to tie it again, 38-38. Mam Jaiteh dunked to put Nanterre ahead before Gladyr dropped a transition three-pointer to make it 43-39. Jaiteh rotated the next ball to Gladyr for another rain-maker and a 46-39 lead. Uter ended Nanterre's 13-1 run with a three-point play, but Gladyr was unstoppable. Next, he hit from the corner over Cantu's zone and Jaiteh slammed to make it a nine-point Nanterre difference before Ragland's layup cut it to 53-46 after 30 minutes. No baskets fell for 4 minutes of the fourth quarter until a fadeaway by Aradori. Soon, a triple by Jenkins had Cantu within 4 points and Aradori's pass to Uter even closer, 58-56. Aradori then seized the lead on an inbounds triple at 58-59. There the score stalled for a long 2 minutes until Gladyr launched a perfect three on the run with 50 seconds left. But he and Meacham made just 1 of 2 free throws each while Ragland and Aradori were perfect, the latter with 7 seconds left, sending the game to overtime.
In the first OT, Ragland's 2 free throws and Aradori's great pass to Uter for a layup quickly made it 63-67. Thomas went backdoor for Nanterre's first points of the extra time, but Uter matched him at the foul line. Gladyr restored hope in the crowd with his sixth three-pointer even though Aradori's free throws stretched the difference to 68-71. Gladyr's single free throw fell before Thomas calmly tied it again with 2 perfect shots from the line with 11.9 seconds left for another tie, 71-71, and another overtime. Gladyr's free throws put Nanterre ahead momentarily but Gentile got the lead back for Cantu with a quick triple. Gladyr then fed Jaiteh for a dunk at 75-74. Lighty added a jumper to the lead, but Ragland blasted a drive and the resulting free throw for a new tie, 77-77. Uter's free throws put Cantu back ahead 78-79 before Gladyr blasted his seventh shot from the arc to make it 81-79. Cantu was demoralized by that one, and after Daniels posted up and Lighty blew to the basket, Nanterre had a 7-1 run and an 85-80 lead that proved enough - at last - for its first Eurocup victory!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014