| Gran Canaria remained undefeated at home this season after holding off a late CEZ Basketball Nymburk charge for a 69-54 victory. Granca improved to 2-1 in Group L, while dropping Nymburk to 1-2. The two clubs face each other in a pivotal rematch in the Czech Republic in two weeks, where not only the outcome, but potentially the margin of victory could play a major role in the race for the quarterfinals. Jaycee Carroll was the hero with 13 of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter. The hosts started on first with the game’s first 12 points, but Nymburk clawed back to 20-18 after 10 minutes. Again Gran Canaria surged and went ahead 52-28 on a Marcus Norris three-pointer early in the third quarter. But Nymburk rallied again to close the gap to 58-54 in the fourth quarter before Will McDonald, Carroll and Sitapha Savane scored crucial baskets to seal the win for the home side. Carroll also had 8 rebounds, while McDonald finished with 12 points and 7 boards for the winners. Mike Lenzly paced Nymburk with 15 points and Arthur Lee and Ladislav Sokolovsky added 11 each.
Gran Canaria got off to the ultimate start on both ends of the floor. Savane scored on the first possession and then Norris drew an offensive foul from Petr Benda. Carroll sank a three-pointer and then stole the ball from Lee and set up James Augustine for a basket. Carroll added a layup and triple to make it 12-0 before Phil Ricci finally broke the ice with a basket-and-foul for Nymburk. However the visitors did not waste time in regrouping. Despite another triple from Carroll, free throws from Ron Lewis and baskets from Benda and Pavel Pumprla brough the visitors back. Another Carroll basket was trumped by a Lee three to make it 17-12. Pumprla continued his good form with two more baskets before Lee sank a pair of free throws to make it 20-18 after 10 minutes. Granca went inside to McDonald who scored twice to restore control to the hosts as the second quarter began. Norris stretched the difference to 9 with a three-pointer, but was quickly matched by Lenzly, who also drew a foul and sank the free throw. But Tomas Bellas drained a triple and found Savane for a three-point play to push the lead to a new high, 13 points. Lee’s steal and basket was unable to swing the momentum back to Nymburk as Carroll scored and the Granca defense remained tough. Jim Moran further increased the lead, first from the line and then from downtown, as Gran Canaria took a commanding 42-25 halftime advantage.
Carroll remained hot as the second half got underway, pacing his team as it grew it lead even bigger. Carroll started off with a layup, which Sokolovsky bettered with a triple. Carroll reached 20 points on his fourth three-pointer of the night before assisting to Moran, who pushed the Gran Canaria lead over 20 points. Norris followed with a triple for a 52-28 advantage. Ricci scored Nymburk’s second basket of the quarter and Sokolovsky followed with another three and Lenzly sank another as Nymburk suddenly showed signs of life. McDonald scored, but Ricci matched him and Gran Canaria called timeout. Lenzly made it to the line twice and sank 4 free throws, but could only get his team within 56-42 after three quarters of action. Nymburk continued its late ;push as Sokolvsky sank his third three of the night and Lenzly made it a 10-point game from the line. Augustine ended Granca’s mini-drought and soon after Nymburk head coach Muli Katzurin used a timeout to plat out the rest of the fourth quarter. The result was another Nymburk charge: Sokolovsky missed from downtown, but Lenzly scored on the offensive glass, then Sokolovsky hit a jumper and Lee scored on the break to narrow the gap to 58-52 and cause Granca coach Pedro Martinez to call timeout. Still the visitors pushed on and Lee brought his team within 4. Alas the hosts found their footing and McDonald scored from the line and Carroll went coast to coast to make it 62-54. McDonald added a basket and a free throw to take the lead back to double figures and Carroll fed Savane for a basket to make the final score 69-54.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010