Crvena Zvezda Diva Belgrade became the Group H champion by topping Orleans Loiret Basket 75-85 on the road on Wednesday. Zvezda improved to 5-0 to clinch first place in Group H. Orleans dropped to 1.4 but still has slim chances to advance. Orleans needs to beat Banco di Sardena Sassari by at least 16 points and expect Zvezda to beat Cajasol Sevilla in order to win a three-way tie for second place. Bojan Subotic paced the winners with 24 points. Rasko Katic and Igor Rakocevic each added 16 while Boris Savovic had 15 for Zvezda. Jahmar Young led Orleans with 25 points. Chris Hill added 17 while Caleb Green had 14 for the hosts, that used a 12-1 run to get a 31-23 lead early in the second quarter. Orleans soon boosted its margin to double digits, 38-28, and kept a 43-37 edge at halftime. Zvezda improved its defense after the break and found a go-to guy in Subotic, who had 15 points in the third quarter to make the guests get a 58-68 margin after 30 minutes. Zvezda boosted its lead to 67-83 and never looked back.
Hill got Orleans going with a three-pointer and a layup. Rakocevic found his first points and Subotic matched Green's layup with free throws. Brian Greene and Katic traded layups and Hill struck again from downtown to boost the hosts' lead to 12-6. It didn't last long, however, as Rakocevic scored again and a jumper by DeMarcus Nelson ignited an 0-11 run that Subotic erased with a bomb from downtown, good for a 14-19 Zvezda lead. Greene sank a jumper and Antoine Eito buried a triple but Rakocevic and Katic kept Zvezda ahead, 19-22, after 10 minutes. Hill hit a jumper early in the second quarter and Greene soon tied the game at 23-23. Zvezda kept struggling to score while Hill made free throws and Young struck twice from downtown to make it an eight-point game, 31-23, after a 12-1 run. Rakocevic stepped up with a layup and Katic added free throws but Young sank a jumper and Hill nailed his third three-pointer for a 36-27 Orleans margin. A layup by Green soon made it a double-digit game, 38-28. Zvezda found a go-to guy in Scott, who buried two triples in an 0-9 run that Savovic capped with a layup for a 38-37 deficit. A jumper by Marc-Antoine Pellin and a three-pointer by Caleb Green gave Orleans a 43-37 edge at halftime.
Rakocevic struck from downtown right after the break and Katic added a jumper for a 43-42 Zvezda deficit. Young split free throws and added a layup but Orleans kept struggling to score. Meanwhile, Subotic followed a layup with consecutive three-pointers to complete the guests' comeback, 46-51. Young scored again but he didn't find much help around. Katic scored around the basket, Subotic dunked it and soon added a layup to make it an eight-point game, 49-57. Young buried a bomb from downtown and followed Fernando Raposo's layup with another three-pointer to give Orleans some hope at 57-59. Rakocevic, Subotic and Savovic answered from downtown to boost Zvezda's margin to 58-68 after 30 minutes. Subotic sank another shot early in the fourth quarter and soon added his fourth three-pointer to break the game open, 58-73. Green stepped up with 4 unanswered points but Subotic and Savovic kept Zvezda way ahead, 64-77, with 6 minutes to go. Branko Lazic hit free throws and a dunk by katic sealed the outcome, 67-83, with 3 minutes left. Orleans kept trying but Zvezda was already celebrated yet another road win.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012