Metropolitans sweeps Ulm with 72-65 home win
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 registered its fifth consecutive victory with a 72-65 decision over visiting ratiopharm Ulm to move closer to a 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 qualification on Tuesday. Metropolitans raised its Group B record to 5-2 while Ulm fell to 3-5 and lost its two-game winning streak. Metropolitans swept their series 2-0 to also earn an important tiebreak advantage, if needed. Bastien Pinault hit 5 of 8 triples to lead the winners with 21 points. Assem Marei followed with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Brown added 11 points for Metropolitans. Ulm got 13 points from Per Guenther and 11 from Isaiah Wilkins, both off the bench. Ulm led by 7 points, 32-39 with a 12-0 run to finish the first half and still held a lead after three quarters, but Metropolitans ruled the fourth to seize a pivotal victory.
Pinault and Marei gave Metropolitans a quick 8-2. Pinault then drilled the game's first triple to make it 11-2. Troy Caupain came to Ulm's rescue from deep as the visitors drew within 7-11 but Dylan Osetkowski's second foul sent him to the bench as Marei lifted the difference to 7-14. Soon, John Petrucelli hit from deep and dropped a reverse layup to tie 14-14. Lahaou Konate and Wilkins traded free throws for a 16-16 tie after 10 minutes. Andreas Obst struck from deep for Ulm's first lead, 18-19, early in the second quarter. Marei took the lead back for Metropolitans but Guenther answered from the arc at 23-25. Marei tied it and Pinault hit from deep to make it 28-25. David Michineau added a triple to the lead off a block by Maxime Roos but Ulm responded with a triple from Trey Landers and a fastbreak layup by Aric Holman to tie again, 32-32. Wilkins scored 4 points and Obst buried a triple before the buzzer as Ulm surged in front 32-39 after 20 minutes. Brandon Brown restarted Metropolitans from the foul line after the break, and that's where Osetkowski got his first point. Marei and Tomer Ginat got Metropolitans within 38-40. Ginat and Brandon Brown, with a steal and layup, complete the comeback before Marei hit the go-ahead dunk off a jump ball at 44-42. Patrick Heckman stole back the lead with consecutive baskets for Ulm. Pinault responded with 5 points in a row but Ulm still clung to a 49-50 edge after three quarters. A triple by Roos and Marei's next two-pointer gave Metropolitans a new lead, 56-52, with less than 7 minutes left as the hosts' defense frustrated Ulm. Pinault hit his fourth triple, a quick-step beauty, and when Anthony Brown followed him, Metropolitans had their biggest lead, 62-52. Heckman hit his first triple of the season and Guenther followed from the corner to get Ulm within 64-58 with 3 minutes left. Pinault was ready with his fifth from deep, however, while Brandon Brown added free throws and Anthony Brown hit his third triple of the night to put the game away for Metropolitans.
From the opening minute, when he hit two driving baskets, one off a steal, through his three-point shooting display, Pinault was just what the doctor ordered for Metropolitans in the absence of top scorer Rob Gray and his 14.5 points per game. Pinault more than covered that with 21 in under 25 minutes on 5-for-8 three-point and 3-for-3 two-point shooting. He did his job on defense, too, with 4 steals.
Pivotal performer II
Metropolitans won both games against Ulm and in both of them, center Assem Marei got the better of Dylan Osetkowski, who has otherwise been the best performer in the entire EuroCup. This time, Marei had 16 points and 7 rebounds in 25 minutes while helping to hold Osetkowski to 3 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes.
Defense decided it
After watching Ulm reel off 12 unanswered points to end the first half, Metropolitans had all the defensive answers in the second, holding the visitors to just 26 points while scoring 40 the rest of the way to erase a 32-39 halftime deficit. Pinault had 4 steals and Brandon Brown 3 in that effort, while Small forward Maxime Roos had 2 blocks, both on Osetkowski.
Metropolitans is waiting for a replay of its Round 7 game with Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, but while that game is pending, its next regularly scheduled one will be when it makes a visit to Mornar Bar for a Round 9 game on Wednesday, December 9. Ulm returns to action on Tuesday, December 8, hosting Buducnost in a Round 9 matchup.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020