Trento rallies to stun Galatasaray
Dolomiti Energia Trento came back from a 14-point halftime deficit to stun host Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul 76-81 on Tuesday at Sinan Erdem Dome. Trento bounced back after back-to-back losses to lift its record to 3-3 in Group D while handing a first home loss to Galatasaray, which slipped to 4-2. Toto Forray hit a pair of three-pointers early in the fourth quarter to ignite a decisive 2-16 charge and after Galatasaray rallied back in the penultimate minute, the Trento captain's four-point play proved to be the game-winning shot. Forray finished with 19 points in 17 minutes, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Justin Knox added 14 points, James Blackmon scored all of his 11 points in the third quarter, Rashard Kelly amassed 10 points and 3 steals and Aaron Craft tallied 10 points, 11 assists and 2 steals for the winners. Aaron Harrison paced Galatasaray with 18 points, Zach Auguste posted 17 points and 9 rebounds and Greg Whittington had 13 and 7.
Despite a spectacular defensive play by George King on the game' first play, it was Galatasaray that took control by scoring the game's first 5 points. King helped the visitors tie it and the score was 10-9 after 6 minutes of action. Galatasaray started to pull away and Goksenin Koksal's three-pointer made it 18-11. After Toto Forray closed the gap, a three by Can Korkmaz boosted the margin to 21-14 after 10 minutes. Trento turned up the defensive pressure and kept the hosts scoreless for the first 4 minutes of the second quarter, but only got within 21-18. Once Galatasaray recovered, it surged ahead. Yigit Arslan punished Kelly for a missed slam with a three-pointer at the other end followed by a tip-in. Auguste added a basket-plus-foul before Whittington's free throw capped a 13-2 run that made it 38-23. Fabio Mian's three-pointer helped Trento trim the gap to 40-26 at the break. A pair of Blackmon three-pointers fired Trento up at the start of the second half. Craft added 4 points as part of a 3-13 charge that drew the visitors within 4. Auguste helped the hosts regain their composure and his three-point play made it 49-41. Knox and Craft helped Trento rally again and Knox's put-back made it 55-53. Whittington scored in the final seconds of the third quarter to give the hosts a 61-56 advantage. A pair of threes by Forray set the stage for Kelly to give Trento its first lead of the game, 63-64, 2 minutes into the fourth quarter. Kelly and Trento each scored again before Andrea Mezzanotte knocked down a triple for his first points of the night. Kelly split free throws to cap a 2-16 charge that made it 65-72 with 4 minutes to go. The lead was 8 when Mezzanotte was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Whittington, who made 4 free throws to invigorate his team and the fans. Ben Moore's put-back kept the pressure on and Harrison completed the comeback with 2 free throws with 1:23 on the clock to complete a 9-0 run for a 75-74 edge. Forray answered with a four-point play that gave Trento the lead for good. Galatasaray had a chance to tie it late, but Whittington missed a put-back and Kelly and King iced the game from the line.
Though there were many key runs in this game, it was Trento's 3-13 charge early in the third quarter that brought the visitors back after trailing by as many as 15 in the first half and 26-40 at the break. James Blackmon hit back-to-back three-pointers to start the run and netted 8 points, while Aaron Craft contributed 4 points, 2 assists and 1 steal as Trento drew within 43-39.
Player of the game
Team captain Toto Forray had scored 24 points in Trento's first five games combined. He went for 19 in 17:27 minutes on Tuesday, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Forray drained three-pointers on Trento’s first two possessions of the fourth quarter to bring his team within 63-62. He also scored the bucket that gave Trento its biggest lead, 66-74. After Galatasaray roared back, it was Forray who stepped up and made - thanks to a lucky bounce - a three-pointer-plus-foul that gave the visiting tea the lead for good, 75-78, with 1:01 remaining.
Trento tallied 19 assists in the game with 11 of them coming from the hands of Aaron Craft. Galatasaray had just 12 assists and no player had more than 3.
Trento returns to EuroCup action on Tuesday with a home date against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. Galatasaray heads to Germany to face EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019