Tofas stays alive with road win over Cedevita
Tofas Bursa gave itself a chance to reach the Top 16 with a 92-96 win over already-qualified host Cedevita in Zagreb on Tuesday. Tofas raised its Group B record to 4-6, but in order to advance, needs last-place Arka Gdynia to win a road game at Limoges CSP on Wednesday. Cedevita finished 5-5 but did not see its third-place standing in Group B affected. A back-and-forth battle that Tofas led by 13 at halftime finally went the way of the visitors with Dante Garrett scoring 8 consecutive points down the stretch to put his team ahead for good. Garrett led the winners with 20 points, while Yigit Arslan hit 4 triples among his 18. Sammy Mejia and Frank Elegar added 12 points each while Kyle Weems pitched in 11. Cedevita's Elgin Cook was the big gun for the hosts, with 32 points, the second-highest total in the 7DAYS EuroCup this season. Jacob Pullen added 16 points, Filip Kruslin 14 and Andrija Stipanovic 12.
Mejia's 5 straight points gave Tofas an 8-12 lead. Cook responded with a pair of dunks and his second triple to put Cedevita ahead 17-14. But Tofas got threes from Garrett and Weems to lead 23-26 after 10 minutes. Jeff Withey's defense and Baris Ermis's triple helped Tofas take the game's first double-digit lead, 23-33, to start the second quarter. Arslan made it a 0-10 run before Cook scored Cedevita's first basket in 5 minutes. Garrett took over to keep Tofas up 34-36 and the visitors kept going until Frank Elegar's put-back meant the biggest lead yet, 37-50, at halftime. Cedevita rediscovered its defense with an 18-7 run to open the second half capped by Filip Kruslin's third three-pointer at 55-57. Arslan responded with 2 triples for Tofas, but Cook returned to cap a 7-0 Cedevita run with a triple at 67-65. Weems made 3 free throws with 1 second left as Tofas took back the lead, 71-73, after three quarters. Mejia put Tofas in front 72-75 before Pullen, with 2 long balls, and Stipanovic flipped the scoreboard in Cedevita's favor, 77-72. Pullen and Edo Muric upped the difference to 86-79 but Tofas rallied behind Arslan and Garrett to re-take the lead, 87-90, with 2 minutes left. Arslan lengthened the lead to 89-94 going into the final minute, which proved enough to keep Tofas alive for one more night.
The victory was the second by Tofas over Cedevita this season, making it the only sweep victim of the winners in their short, two-season EuroCup history.
The game swung back and forth for four quarters and Cedevita led 87-81 with 4:50 left. That's when Garrett took responsibility and scored 8 of his 20 points in a 5-15 closing run for Tofas.
Tofas blocked 7 shots to 0 for Cedevita in the game, with Jeff Withey rejecting 3, while Frank Elegar and Kyle Weems swatted 2 each. The blocks total tied Cedevita's club record in the EuroCup.
Only Cook warmed up
The only thing that Cedevita had going for it in the first half was a red-hot Elgin Cook. He hit the game's first three-pointer early, had 19 of his team's 28 points after 16 minutes and finished it with 21. His final total of 32 points matched the fourth-highest total scored by a player in Cedevita's seven EuroCup seasons.
Cedevita was already qualified for the Top 16 in new Group H, which now has UNICS Kazan and MoraBanc Andorra in it. A draw will determine the Top 16 calendar, the first round of which will begin on January 2.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018