Germani Brescia Leonessa fans had to be pretty happy when they saw their team score 25 points in the first quarter of the crucial battle with Nanterre 92. That was the sign the supporters needed that the Italian team could very well ride its offense to a win - once again.
Brescia came into the game with the league’s worst offense, averaging just 68.9 points. But Coach Vincenzo Esposito’s men produced a season-high output in an 85-78 win over Nanterre to book its first-ever ticket to the Top 16.
DeAndre Lansdowne’s 19 points paced four players in double figures as Brescia got the job done in its second season in the competition with a 6-4 record in Group C.
Offense has been the name of the game for Brescia this season; if the Italian team scores, it wins. If not, it loses. Including the Round 10 victory over Nanterre, Brescia averaged 79.5 points in its six wins. The team averaged just 57.0 points in its four losses - including a dismal and EuroCup all-time low 35 points in Round 4 at home against Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul.
What made Brescia’s accomplishment all the more impressive was that the team won its final two games without forward Kenneth Horton, who ranked third in the team in scoring (9.8 ppg.) and rebounding (4.5 rpg.) and had averaged 14.2 points between Rounds 5 and 8.
In addition to getting Horton back, one of the keys for Brescia in the Top 16 will be to continue its trend of home and away games. Brescia was 4-1 at home - doing a good job defending the home Palaleonessa court - while Esposito’s team was able to steal road victories at Nanterre and Darussafaka.