Andorra holds on to hand Partizan first loss
MoraBanc Andorra held on to defeat Partizan NIS Belgrade 61-60 in a back and forth battle which leaves both teams at 3-1. After a low-scoring start, Partizan went on a 0-14 spurt early in the second quarter to take charge, leading 24-32 at the interval. Andorra hit back by winning the third quarter 24-8, before Partizan bounced back and went ahead again. But the Serbian side went scoreless for three minutes near the end, and Andorra had just enough offense to win. Victor Arteaga led all scorers with 15 points, while Codi Miller-McIntyre had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Oriol Pauli and David Jelinek both had 10 points in victory. Zach LeDay registered a double-double for Partizan with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Kevin Punter scored 13.
Yam Madar scored three times inside to send Partizan ahead in an opening few minutes otherwise dominated by defenses. Pauli netted two transition baskets to pull Andorra closer, before a layup-and-one from Arteaga gave the host its first lead, 9-8. Jelinek added a three-pointer and Pauli had another fastbreak score, before Amine Noua netted inside for a 16-12 after ten minutes. There were no points in the opening two minutes of the second quarter, before LeDay made Partizan’s first triple and Aleksa Avramovic scored in transition for a 16-17 Partizan lead. LeDay hit another three-pointer before Dallas Moore and Avramovic netted from close range to complete a 0-14 run, good for a 16-24 lead. Jelinek hit back with a triple, but Alen Smailagic had 4 points and Moore scored off a layup to make it 19-30. Drew Crawford scored 5 points to reduce Partizan’s lead, which was 24-32 at half-time.
Arteaga scored the first 4 points of the second half but Smailagic responded with a powerful dunk. Pauli and Miller-McIntyre kept Andorra moving with dunks of their own, pulling it back to 32-34. Spectacular slams from Pauli and Moussa Diagne maintained the momentum for Andorra, which moved into a 40-36 lead with a 16-4 run. Arteaga kept the dunk party going with two more, and Miller-McIntyre added another slam to make it 48-40 at the end of the third. Partizan found its offense early in the final quarter with a trio of inside baskets and LeDay’s triple, but two scores from Arteaga kept Andorra in front. Kevin Punter warmed up with his first two field goals, and then netted a triple for a 55-56 lead after a 0-7 personal run. Miller-McIntyre sent Andorra back in front with 3 minutes remaining, and Clevin Hannah added a tough jumper for a 61-58 lead in the last minute. That proved to be enough as the final seconds saw only free throws scored.
Offenses suffer meltdowns
Both teams endured offensive meltdowns at different stages of the game. Morabanc Andorra led 16-10 near the end of the first but then failed to score any points for more than six minutes as Partizan NIS Belgrade went on a 0-14 run. Everything changed in the third quarter as Andorra scored 24 points - its entire first half total - while Partizan converted just two field goals to fall behind. Finally, another barren run from Partizan settled the outcome, as the Serbian side scored just two free throws in the final 3:26.
Pivotal performer: Arteaga’s efficiency proves key
Victor Arteaga top scored with 15 points, and in a low-scoring contest those points were worth much more than that as his Andorra team overcome Partizan. Most importantly in a game marked by offensive struggles for long periods he was efficient, scoring on 6 of his 10 two-point attempts and converting all 3 attempted free throws. Aretaga also scored at key moments, notably with the first 4 points of the second half to give his belief in its attempt to launch a comeback, and then two more baskets in a closely contested fourth quarter.
Miller-McIntyre and Punter fail to ignite
In a game which saw defenses dominate, two of the most productive performers in the 7DAYS EuroCup were unable to reach their usual standards. Partizan sharp-shooter Kevin Punter came into the game ranked second in the league in scoring with an average of 26.3 points per game, but on this occasion he scored just 13 on 3-of-13 field goal attempts with 6 of his points coming from the foul line. Andorra playmaker Codi Miller-McIntyre, meanwhile, was the competition’s top ranked assister with 9.3 per game, but in this game Partizan’s stern defense restricted him to 2 assists – but he still recorded a double-double by registering 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021