Metropolitans outlast Andorra
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 took charge in the second half and held on to beat MoraBanc Andorra 81-74 on Tuesday night at Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan. The hosts trailed by 9 early in the third quarter before Lahaou Konate scored 7 in a 9-0 run as Metropolitans outscored Andorra 46-30 over the final 18 minutes. Vince Hunter scored 16 and blocked 3 shots to lead Metropolitans, which ended a two-game skid and improved to 4-4. Keith Hornsby added 14 points and 4 assists, Will Cummings netted 12 points and David Michineau had 11. Drew Crawford paced Andorra with 15 points, Clevin Hannah scored 12, Codi Miller-McIntyre tallied 11 points and 5 assists and Oriol Pauli contributed 10 points. The loss ended Andorra’s modest two-game winning streak and dropped its record to 5-3.
Hornsby opened the scoring with a layup, but it was the only basket in the first 2 minutes. After a pair of early turnovers, Miller-McIntyre broke the ice for Andorra with a second-chance triple. Hornsby stayed focused with another score and an assist to Miralem Halilovic. A three by Hannah had Andorra within 9-8 after 5 minutes. Hunter stepped up to extend the Metropolitans’ advantage to 14-10. A Crawford triple trimmed the deficit again and Pauli’s layup pushed the visitors in front, 16-17. After free throws by Bandja Sy, Gal Mekel beat the first-quarter buzzer with a three from midcourt to make it 18-20.
Tomer Ginat made his first basket after returning from injury to tie the game on the first possession of the second quarter, but a Mekel-to-Pauli alley-oop and a basket-plus-foul by Nacho Llovet prompted a timeout by the visitors. Conor Morgan added a three-pointer for a 20-27 lead. Sy got to the line twice more to make it 24-29 midway through the quarter. Andorra responded with a three by Hannah and a layup by Miller-McIntyre to claim a double-digit lead. Threes by Michineau and Hornsby drew Metropolitans within 30-36, which prompted a timeout for Andorra. Michineau capped an action-packed final minute of the half with a fadeaway jumper to make it 35-40.
Baskets by Crawford and Moussa Diagne kept Andorra in control early in the second half. Metropolitans turned things around through Konate who scored the last 7 points of a 9-0 run that evened the score at 44-44. The visitors were held without points for more than 5 minutes before Llovet scored on the offensive glass. Cummings drained a go-ahead three for the hosts and Konate dunked for a 49-46 lead. After an Andorra timeout, Crawford made a three from the corner to tie it. Cummings and Hannah swapped triples and Cummings penetrated to make it 54-52 through three quarters.
Victor Arteaga dunked an alley-oop pass from Miller-McIntyre to briefly give Andorra the lead. Ginat scored at the other end and Cummings darted through the visitors’ defense to make it 59-56. Michineau’s steal and slam stretched the lead to 5, but Andorra soon tied it on Crawford’s third three of the night. Tony Crocker beat the shot clock with a three for his first Metropolitans points. The lead continued to switch hands with Noua putting Andorra ahead with a second-chance score before Crocker drilled a three-pointer. Michineau made it 69-65 with 4 minutes remaining. Hornsby made it 72-67 with a three. Pauli and Miller-McIntyre had the visitors back within 1. Clutch baskets by Hornsby and Hunter kept the hosts in charge. Free throws by Hannah made it 76-74 with 23.9 seconds to go and Hunter countered with free throws to make it a two-possession lead with 17.0 left. Miller-McIntyre missed a three and Hunter capped the victory with a three-point play.
Konate emerges as Metropolitans’ difference maker
Although Lahaou Konate started at small forward for Boulogne Metropolitans 92, he put together a rather unremarkable first half. Konate did not attempt a shot over the first 20 minutes of game action, during which he played neatly 8 minutes. That changed in a big way in the third quarter when he put the team on his back to score 9 of his team’s 19 points. With MoraBanc Andorra up 35-44 early in the third, Konate stepped up with 7 points in a 9-0 game-tying run. He later threw down an impressive slam to make it 49-46. Even though the game was decided in the fourth quarter, Metropolitans would not have been in the discussion if not for Konate’s big quarter.
By the numbers: Metropolitans makes the most of turnovers
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 collected 9 steals and forced MoraBanc Andorra into 15 turnovers, which the hosts used to their advantage. Metropolitans scored 14 points off those turnovers, while Andorra reaped only 7 points from Metropolitans’ 10 turnovers. Moreover, Metropolitans pushed the pace when they could and racked up 13 fastbreak points, compared to just 2 for Andorra. Those numbers coupled with a strong three-point shooting night lifted the home team. Metropolitans made 9 of 20 three-point tries (45%) with Tony Crocker, Will Cummings and Keith Hornsby each producing a pair of triples.
Miller-McIntyre extends streaks on off night
MoraBanc Andorra point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre had perhaps his worst game of his season based on the numbers, which only underscores how strong of a season he’s had so far. The playmaker tallied 11 points, 5 assists and 2 steals in the loss against Boulogne Metropolitans 92 for a performance index rating of 10. He has now reached double figures in points and PIR in all eight games this season. His streak of games with a PIR of at least 10 is now 15 games dating back to last season when he played for Partizan NIS Belgrade. Miller-McIntyre has also made at least 1 three in six straight games and dished at least 5 assists in all but one game this season.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021