Strasbourg took the first step to reach the ULEB CUp quarterfinals for the first time in club history by edging archrivals Sluc Nancy 89-86 at home on Tuesday, in the first game of the two-way series. Nancy will host the final and decisive game with the ambition to overcome the three-point deficit in the series. Chuck Eidson led the winners with 23 points on 9-of-12 two-pointers. Aerick Sanders posted a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, Lonnie Cooper, John McCord and Claude Marquis each added 12 points while Sacha Giffa had 10 for Strasbourg. Cyril Julian had 21 points on 9-of-12 two-pointers for Nancy. Tariq Kirksay and Branko Milisavljevic each added 13, Cedrick Banks had 11 and Victor Samnick 10 for the guests, who used a 0-9 final run in the first half to get a 39-48 edge at the break. Eidson was the main factor in a 13-0 Strasbourg run after halftime, as Giffa and Cooper helped the hosts to get a 66-57 lead. Julian and Milisavljevic allowed Nancy to get a 68-69 edge early in the final period, but Sanders and the ever-present Eidson combined for 6 points in the final 90 seconds to please its many fans with a home win and give Strasbourg a slim lead in the series.
McCord got Strasbourg going with a fast break layup, as both teams traded baskets at full speed early in the game. Dan McClintock gave Nancy its first lead, 5-6, but Marquis shined with back-to-back baskets and Eidson added a driving layup to put Strasbourg back ahead, 11-8. McCord dunked it and capped a 8-0 run with a layup off a steal, 1-8. Kirksay shined with a reverse layup that Eidson erased with a mid-range jumper. Milisavljevic fired in one from downtown but Michael Smith did the same for Strasbourg and Sanders dunked it for a 22-15 lead. Kirksay kept hitting free throws but Sanders and a three-pointer by Smith made it a nine-point game, 27-18. Samnick joined the three-point festival to bring Nancy within 27-21 after 10 minutes. McCord kept pacing Strasbourg with free throws but Julian erased it with a jump hook and Ricky Soliver added a jumper for a 29-25 Nancy deficit. McCord scored again but McClintock shined with a hook shot and soon added a driving layup to bring the guests even closer, 31-29. Sanders buried a short jumper but Soliver answered from downtown to force a Strasbourg timeout at 33-32. Eidson dunked it in traffic but Julian scored in the paint and Banks added a tough basket to put Nancy back ahead, 35-36. Samnick fired in his second triple and even when Eidson took over with a big basket, Julian's put-back basket gave Nancy a 39-41 edge. Samnick scored twice in the low post while DeRon Hayes beat the buzzer with a triple to cap a 0-9 run that gave Nancy a 39-48 halftime lead.
Giffa buried a big triple and Marquis dunked it to get the hosts within 44-48. Eidson followed an easy basket with an outstanding reverse layup to give Nancy a 50-48 lead. Nancy could not beat the hosts' zone defense while Eidson scored again to cap a 13-0 Strasbourg run. Julian hit free throws for Nancy and Banks added a corner triple but Marquis and Giffa kept the hosts ahead, 56-53. Julian scored in the paint but Cooper answered from downtown and Eidson made free throws for a 61-55 Strasbourg edge. Julian kept pacing Nancy but Eidson and Cooper buried consecutive triples for a 66-57 score. Once again Julian shined with a three-point play and Sanders added a put-back layup before Kirksay and Milisavljevic fixed the score at 68-64 after 30 minutes. Milisavljevic scored in transition early in the final period and soon added a triple to give Nancy a 68-69 edge, after a 0-9 run. Marquis and Kirksay traded put-back layups hile Sanders buried a short jumper for a 72-71 Strasbourg edge. Cooper fired in a corner triple but Banks and Julian tied the game again, 75-75, with less than 6 minutes to go. Giffa nailed a triple and added a driving layup, good for a 80-75 Strasbourg edge. Banks scored in penetration but Cooper answered from downtown. Julian shined with back-to-back layups while Kirksay dunked it off a midcourt steal for a 83-83 tie with 90 seconds to go. Sanders took over with a power layup while Eidson scored in traffic. Milisavljevic's three-point play brought Nancy within 87-86 before Eidson hit free throws to give Strasbourg a three-point lead in the series.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007