Andorra tops Trento to snap losing streak
Morabanc Andorra returned to the win column by beating Dolomiti Energia Trento 71-82 at BLM Group Arena on Wednesday night. The visitors had to wait until the end of the second quarter to build a double-digit lead, 31-41, which grew to 40-65 late in the third quarter. Despite Trento getting back within 10-points entering crunch time, back-to-back dunks by Moussa Diagne and Babatunde Olumuyiwa sealed the outcome for Andorra. Drew Crawford set the tone for the winners with 15 points, followed by Clevin Hannah (12) and Nacho Llovet (10). Trento was led by Wesley Saunders, who went for 13 points and 6 rebounds. Andrea Mezzanote and Cameron Reynolds scored 12 apiece and Desonta Bradford netted 11 in defeat. Andorra snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 5-5. Trento suffered its sixth loss in a row to drop to 1-10.
Both teams struggled in offense in the early going and even though offensive rebounding granted several second chances on each end, the score was 4-5 after 6 minutes. Diego Flaccadori broke the trend with a three and Reynolds followed from the line to bring Trento to 9-5, but Mario Nakic and Llovet answered quickly to put the visitors back in charge, 9-10. The lead switched from hand to hand until Crawford hit from deep and Flaccadori scored a couple of free throws to get it all square, 15-15, at the end of the first quarter.
It took more than 2 minutes to see the first field goal in the second quarter, which came when Crawford turned a steal into a fastbreak slam. Oriol Pauli followed with a long triple soon after to make it 17-22 and force Trento to call timeout. Mezzanote provided a three after the break, but it was useless as Andorra reacted with a 0-8 run capped by a layup by Codi Miller-McIntyre that built a 20-30 edge for the visitors. Even though the hosts finally managed to find a steady scorer in Bradford, Hannah took over on the other end to score 5 points in a row that helped Andorra keep a comfortable 31-41 halftime advantage.
The visitors came out strong after the intermission and extended the gap to 34-48 behind twos by Olumuyiwa and Miller-McIntyre and a triple from Hannah. Trento was unable to string together a couple of successful offenses and Andorra took advantage of that to keep digging. Hannah had an offensive spark in which he scored a couple of buckets and fed Llovet for a three-point play that ripped it to 38-57 midway through the third quarter. Diagne and Crawford made it even worse for the hosts when they drilled back-to-back threes to push Andorra above the 20-point barrier, 65-40. Trento refused to surrender, though, and a 10-0 run fueled by Mezzanote and a buzzer-beater triple by Bradford reduced it to 50-65 entering the last quarter.
The rally was stopped by a three-pointer by Llovet once the game resumed, as Trento lost its offensive momentum. A block by Maximilian Ladurner and a fastbreak layup by Luca Conti seemed to end the drought for the hosts, who came within 54-68 after a contested layup by Saunders with 6 minutes to go. Victor Arteaga scored twice from the field right after a timeout by Andorra to try to keep his team calm, but the home team kept rocking through Saunders and Bradford to make it 66-76 with less than 3 minutes remaining. A fastbreak slam by Diagne cooled it down for the visitors and a monster dunk by Olumuyiwa entering the last minute finally sealed the outcome.
Andorra’s coach celebrates in debut
David Eudal was promoted to become Morabanc Andorra's head coach after Ibon Navarro was dismissed after the team's defeat over the weekend in the Spanish League. The lack of head-coaching experience didn’t penalize Eudal, as his team helped him enjoy a road win in Trento in his debut. This was the second time this season Andorra got a victory far from its home court; its first took place almost 2 months ago when it defeated Hamburg Towers 91-97 in Round 3.
By the numbers: Andorra controls the rebounding
Coming to this game, Dolomiti Energia Trento and Morabanc Andorra had displayed opposite performances in rebounding battles. The home team had been outrebounded by an average of 4.3 rebounds per game, and the visitors had taken 2.8 rebounds more than their opponents on average. Despite knowing it must tighten things up on the glass to improve its chances, Trento could not prevent Andorra from grabbing 9 more rebounds (44) and scoring 9 more second-chance points (17), which proved decisive in a game that saw the hosts slump to another poor shooting night.
Trento fights despite limited rotation
Due to the absence of players like Jordan Caroline and Toto Forray, Dolomiti Energia Trento again limited its rotation to just eight players. It was the same number of resources Coach Emanuele Molin used in the previous two games against Partizan NIS Belgrade and Joventut Badalona in Rounds 9 and 10, when they lost 97-65 and 82-65, respectively. In this game, Trento looked close to a collapse when it trailed 40-65 after halftime, but a 10-0 run in the last 3 minutes of the third quarter revived the hosts and helped them come within 66-76, late in the fourth.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022