Metropolitans turns back Turk Telekom, 99-82
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 made a big-city move in Group A when it turned back visiting Turk Telekom Ankara by 99-82 on Wednesday and covered the tiebreak between them, as well. Both teams are tied with 5-5 records alongside Lietkabelis Panevezys and tied on victories with MoraBanc Andorra between the fourth and seventh positions in the Group A standings. Will Cummings led the winners with 26 points among six Metropolitans scorers in double figures. Tony Crocker hit 5 three-pointers for 17 points. Keith Hornsby scored 14 more, Ginat Tomer 13, David Michineau 11 and Vince Hunter 10. For Turk Telekom, which led 0-8 to start the game, Alex Perez poured in 21 points while Octavius Ellis added 13, Samet Geyik and Erdi Gulaslan 12 each.
Anthony Clemmons hit a runner, Ellis and Aubrey Dawkins dropped free throws, and Perez nailed a jumper as Turk Telekom quickly went up 0-8. Hornsby finally got Metropolitans on the board, then Cummings, Hunter and Ginat started getting the rim to cut the difference to 10-12. Hunter's third layup tied it up and Ginat converted a three-point fastbreak opportunity to complete an 11-0 Metropolitans run to a 15-12 advantage. Jared Terrell for Turk Telekom and David Michineau for the hosts traded triples Geyik banked in a shot that Ginat bettered from deep to make it 21-17. Erdi Gulaslan's free throws and corner triple flipped Turk Telekom ahead, but Bandja Sy's put-back let Metropolitans hold a 23-22 lead after one quarter.
Geyik scored twice inside as the visitors went up 23-26 early in the second. Cummings regained the lead for Metropolitans with a three-point play and a layup at 28-26. Hunter added a dunk but Gulaslan kept the visitors close with a three-point play and Perez fed Geyik next for another lead change 30-31. What had been mostly inside scoring for both teams changed then as Hornsby, Cummings and Tony Crocker – twice – hit from deep to vault Metropolitans ahead quickly by 44-35. When Hornsby joined them by drilling from the corner, Metropolitans had the game's first double-digit lead. Clemmons stopped the hosts' 17-4 run by with a basket for Turk Telekom, but Ginat was left open for another triple that sent Metropolitans forward to a 52-39 halftime lead.
Perez and Hornsby got their teams going in the third quarter. Berk Demir and Perez added baskets at the rim for Turk Telekom to trim the difference to single digits, 54-45. Cummings and Dawkins traded triples, as did Crocker and Perez, before Hornsby and Gulaslan finished strong layups. When Cummings hit 2 perfect free throws the Metropolitans lead was double digits again, 65-53. Hunter and Geyik exchanged inside buckets but Michineau kept the hosts comfortable with a jumper on their way to a 72-58 lead after 30 minutes.
Cummings beat the Turk Telekom defense with a layup-plus-free throw combo to open the final quarter. Terrell finally got Turk Telekom's outside shooting restarted with a pair of strikes from the arc but Sy and Cummings matched him and when the latter finished a fastbreak Metropolitans, had matched its highest lead yet, 85-68. With Crocker and Michineau hitting from deep before the finish, the hosts only extended their lead and matched their club record in the EuroCup with 99 points. Ginat hit a final triple that would have broken that record, but it left his hand a hair after the final buzzer and was discounted on replay.
Key Sequence: Metropolitans shooters showed up
Almost all the scoring had come inside or at the foul line when Turk Telekom took a 30-31 lead midway through the second quarter on the court of Boulogne Metropolitans 92. Both teams at that moment had made just 2 of 7 three-point tries. But the hosts were ready to try some more.
Over the next 5 minutes, Metropolitans would make 6 of its next 7 attempts from downtown during a 17-4 run to take over the game and lead 52-39 at halftime. Keith Hornsby and Tony Crocker had 2 triples each while Will Cummings and Tomer Ginat hit 1 apiece. Meanwhile, Turk Telekom stayed cold, missing its next 5 from downtown to finish 2 of 12 for the half and never got a good shot at the lead after that.
Metropolitans kept hitting from deep to finish 16-for-28 on the night, a new club record in the 7DAYS EuroCup, for a 57.1% rate. Turk Telekom couldn't catch up and finished 6-for-23 from downtown for 26.1%.
Pivotal Performer: Will Cummings, Metropolitans
Former 7DAYS EuroCup champion Will Cummings is the undisputed leader of Boulogne Metropolitans 92, and on Wednesday he made that extra clear in the team's 99-82 home win over Turk Telekom Ankara. Cummings matched his career high with 26 points by hitting 6 of 9 two-pointers, 3 of 5 triples and 5 of 5 free throws in 27 minutes of action in which he was pretty much unstoppable. He also had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while committing but a single turnover despite doing most of the team's ball-handling.
Cummings finished with a PIR of 32, which was just 2 off his career-high of 34, which he posted in a losing cause on the road against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar earlier this season. In that game, though, he played more than 33 minutes, and in this one he took a seat with exactly 5 minutes left, not to be seen again, because his last bucket made it 85-68. By then Metropolitans was not only the clear winner but was sure to cover its eight-point loss from the first meeting with Turk Telekom. And for Cummings, his leadership had made it happen, so it was time to rest and look ahead.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022