Gran Canaria wins in Trento to finish atop Group D
Herbalife Gran Canaria clinched first place in Group D with a 56-67 victory on the road at Dolomiti Energia Trento on Wednesday. A.J. Slaughter scored 18 points in his second game with Gran Canaria to lift the team's record to 8-2, while dropping Trento to 6-4 and third place. Javier Beiran tallied 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the visitors, who never trailed in the game. John Shurna added 11 points and 5 assists and Stanley Okoye contributed 10 points. Gary Browne led Trento with 12 points and 5 assists and JaCorey Williams scored 9.
Gran Canaria got going early with threes by Tomas Dimsa and Shurna for a 2-8 lead. Williams and Kelvin Martin kept Trento close, but a second three by Shurna extended the margin to 6-13. Free throws by Slaughter and Beiran took the difference to double figures and his jumper capped a 0-9 run for an 8-22 lead. Victor Sanders ended a nearly 4-minute-long scoring drought for Trento with a free throw. Luke May added a triple to end the first quarter at 12-22. The teams traded points for the first few minutes of the second quarter with Toto Forray taking a lead role for the hosts and Okoye for the visitors. Slaughter extended the margin to 12 and Shurna's third three and a nifty layup by Slaughter made it 30-46 at the break.
Browne took charge for the hosts at the onset of the third quarter, but Slaughter proved up to the challenge as his three-pointer, steal and free throw pushed the difference to 37-54 midway through the quarter. A long jumper by Sanders drew Trento within 42-54 after a low-scoring third quarter. Free throws by Luke Maye drew Trento within 9, but Slaughter hit back with a triple on the ensuing possession. Trento's slow pace started to work against it as the teams traded shots and it was 51-61 with 5 minutes remaining. Browne netted a long jumper for Trento, but Beiran countered with three-pointers on the next two possessions for a 53-67 advantage with 3 minutes to go, which all settled the outcome.
Veteran forward Javier Beiran had one of his best EuroCup games with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. It was his second career double-double and his performance index rating of 23 tied his career-best which came in his only other double-double – 11 points and 11 rebounds in a 76-73 victory over UNICS Kazan in February 2011.
Gran Canaria outrebounded Trento 34-43 and outshot the home team from every distance. Although Gran Canaria's shooting was not at its highest level, it limited Trento to 37.5% on two-pointers, 26.3% on threes and 64.7% on free throws. In contrast, the visitors shot 40.6% on twos, 36.7% on threes and 80% on free throws.
Both teams will have a month-long break from EuroCup action until the Top 16 begins on January 13. Gran Canaria will compete in Group H and Trento in Group F.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020