Asvel Basket picked up an important road win in Group E by edging Gran Canaria 78-80 in overtime on an Amara Sy tip-in in the closing seconds. The visitors led for much of the game before an 11-2 charge late in the fourth quarter put Gran Canaria on top. Clutch plays by Mario Fernandez gave the hosts a 3-point lead, however J.R. Reynolds rescued Asvel with a triple to tie the game at 69-69 and force overtime. In the extra period, Ben Dewar stepped up to practically seal the win late for Asvel, but Carl English tied the game. However there was time for one last Asvel shot and Sy arrived in time to correct Reynolds miss and win the game. Asvel improved to 2-1 and is tied for the group lead with Azovmash. Gran Canaria dropped to 1-2 and will look to avenge its loss when it faces Asvel next week in France. Chevy Troutman paced Asvel with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Dewar added 15 and 7. Sy finished with 13 points, Laurent Foirest scored 11 and Reynolds had 11 and 5 assists. Melvin Sanders led the hosts with 19 points, Joel Freeland had 14 on perfect shooting, Fernandez added 12, Jim Moran 11 and James Augustine recorded 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Marcus Norris got to the line to score the game’s first points before Troutman got Asvel on the board. A pair of baskets by Freeland put the hosts up 6-4 before Troutman responded with a triple as the lead started to sway from side to side. But after Augustine put Gran Canaria ahead 10-9, Ali Traore started and finished a 2-12 Asvel charge that put the visitors ahead 12-22 after 10 minutes. An Eric Campbell basket gave Asvel twice as many points as the hosts at the start of the second quarter. And Foirest and Troutman continued to put it on en rote to a stunning 16-35 lead that left the crowd silent. Sanders hit a triple to awake the hosts and Freeland would add four more buckets to narrow the gap to 27-38 by halftime.
The two teams traded baskets as the third period got underway. Moran’s hot shooting gave Gran Canaria hope, but Dewar was equal to the task for Asvel. However back-to-back triples from Moran and Sanders turned a double-digit deficit into 47-51 before Foirest gave the visitors breathing room at 47-53 after three periods. Foirest and Sy continued to fend the home team off in the fourth. Sanders cut the gap to 54-57 only for Foirest to fire one in from behind the arc. And a Reynolds basket on the offensive glass put the visitors back in control. But a Fernandez triple brought Gran Canaria back to life and Sanders made it 61-64 from the line. Moran then missed a three that would have tied it, but Asvel failed to capitalize and on the next trip down the floor Fernandez drew a foul and trimmed the gap to 1. And then Sitapha Savane continued the march with 2 free throws to give the hosts their first lead since the opening period. Savane and Augustine came up with a pair of big blocks on a defensive standoff, but Sy managed to score soon after to put Asvel up 65-66. Fernandez answered from the line and then stole the ball from Dewar for a layup and a 69-66 lead. However Reynolds tied the game with a triple and sent the game to overtime.
Another Fernandez steal and drawn foul led to the first 2 points of the extra period, but Dewar answered back with a triple. Fernandez went to the line again and tied the score at 72-72. Sanders and Troutman traded baskets as the game stayed tied. Dewar hit a clutch basket on the offensive glass and Moran missed at the other end. Forced to foul, the hosts sent Dewar to the line and he made a pair of free throws. But after an English layup, Reynolds turned the ball over and English drew a foul and tied the game at 78-78 from the line. But there was just enough time for Asvel to shoot once more and even though Reynolds missed, Sy was there to correct it and give Asvel a rare win on the Canary Islands.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008