Le Mans registered its first win in Last 16 Group I by edging Aris BSA 2003 71-72 in Thessaloniki, Greece on Tuesday night. Le Mans ties for second place with DKV Joventut at 1-1 while Aris went down to 0-2 and needs to bounce back right away to keep its Quarterfinal options alive. Antoine Diot won it for Le Mans with a game-winning turnaround jumper in his team's final possession. Zach Wright paced the winners with 15 points. JP Batista and Marc Salyers each added 14 while Dee Spencer got 10 for Le Mans, but Diot stole the show with 1.5 seconds left. Jeremy Richardson led Aris with 19 points. Nikos Barlos added 12 while Aaron Miles had 11 for the hosts, that led 18-17 after 10 minutes. Spencer and Salyers allowed Le Mans to get a 35-37 edge at halftime. Aris rolled after the break and led 56-50 early in the fourth quarter but Batista and Spencer brought Le Mans back to life. It all came down to the final minute, as a floating jumper by Salyers gave Le Mans a 69-70 edge with 14.6 seconds left. Miles took over with a reverse layup for a 71-70 score with 5.4 seconds to go but Diot hit the game-winning jumper and allowed Le Mans to seal a good-as-gold road win.
Miles got Aris going with free throws but Maleye Ndoye answered from downtown for a 2-3 Le Mans lead. Batista shined with a layup in transition and Wright struck from downtown for a 5-8 score, as Aris struggled to get its big men involved. Richardson joined the three-point shootout and a layup by Demos Dikoudis put Aris back ahead, 10-8. Salyers sank a four-meter jumper that Richardson matched with a driving layup. Batista scored down low but a three-pointer by Michalis Kakiouzis and a free throw by Demos Dikoudis boosted the hosts' lead to 16-12. Spencer downed his first triple and Charles Kahudi scored in penetration to keep Le Mans within 18-17 after 10 minutes. Both teams struggled to score early in the second quarter until Wright took over with an acrobatic layup-plus-foul and fed Spencer for a fast break basket, good for a 18-22 Le Mans lead. Andy Betts and Diot traded layups and a put-back basket by Thierry Rupert made the hosts call timeout at 20-26. Betts kept pacing Aris with another layup and Barlos added a tip-in for a 24-28 score. Wright scored in penetration, as the guests excelled with a 2-3 zone defense. Richardson struck from downtown and Barlos added free throws but Wright and Kahudi kept Le Mans ahead, 29-34. Betts hit free throws and Barlos sank an off-balance jumper but a triple by Salyers helped Le Mans to keep a 35-37 halftime edge.
Nikos Hatzivrettas sank a jumper immediately after the break and Barlos added a three-pointer to restore a 40-37 Aris lead. Le Mans kept struggling to score and Richardson set the crowd on fire with a high-flying dunk. Barlos shined with a put-back layup that capped an 11-0 Aris run. Le Mans had been scoreless for more than 4 minutes but Rupert stepped up with a layup. Barlos fed Dikoudis for an uncontested layup that Batista matched with free throws. Aris entered the foul bonus and free throws by Rupert and Wright brought Le Mans within 48-45. A mid-range jumper by Kakiouzis allowed Aris to get a 50-45 edge after 30 minutes. Salyers downed a seven-meter bomb early in the fourth quarter and free throws by Spencer tied it at 50-50. A free throw by Hatzivrettas ignited a 6-0 run highlight by Betts' three-point play. Le Mans was not done, however, as Batista and Spencer combined for all points in a 0-7 run that put the guests back ahead, 56-57, with 6 minutes left. Wright scored in penetration and Salyers struck from way downtown to force Aris to call timeout at 59-62. Richardson downed a key triple and soon added a running jumper for a 65-65 tie with 2 minutes left. Ndoye and Salyers sank free throws but back-to-back layups by Miles gave Aris a 69-68 edge with a minute left. Wright and Miles missed respective shots but a floating jumper by Salyers put the guests back ahead, 69-70, with 14.6 seconds left. Miles set the crowd on fire with a reverse layup with 5.4 seconds to go. Le Mans had the final possession and Diot took over with a wild turnaround jumper with 1.5 seconds to go. Aris had a final chance but Miles missed from midcourt at the buzzer.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010