Andorra handles Trento, 85-73, for first win
MoraBanc Andorra broke into the win column in Group A on Tuesday by turning back visiting Dolomiti Energia Trento with a convincing 85-73 victory. The result evened Andorra's s record at 1-1 and left Trento still looking for its first win. Andorra led 21-10 but Trento followed Jordan Caroline to within 30-28 late in the second quarter. A 16-2 closing run by Andorra before halftime seemed to settle the matter, but Trento rallied to within 55-53 late in the third quarter before the hosts reasserted themselves the rest of the way. Amine Noua top-scored for the winners with 20 points and Clevin Hannah followed with 11, while Codi Miller-McIntyre was everywhere with a double-double of 10 points and 12 assists. Trento got 24 points from Jordan Caroline, 16 from Wesley Saunders and 13 from Cameron Reynolds but suffered from poor shooting at the three-point arc and the foul line.
Miller-McIntyre had a coast-to-coast layup, 2 steals and an assist as Andorra raced in front by 6-1 but Saunders responded with 5 points for a 6-6 tie. Victor Arteaga broke that tie for the hosts and David Jelinik supplied a 6-13 lead with the help of Andorra's first triple. Caroline and Reynolds steadied Trento but Miller-McIntyre and Moussa Diagna raised the lead again to 17-10. Clevin Hannah added his own triple as Andorra took charge 21-10 after one quarter.
Conor Morgan kept the hosts going with a layup early in the second but Jordan kept scoring in bunches for Trento. When he scored from deep and Toto Forray downed his first basket, the visitors were within 28-22. Mario Nakic ended Trento's run but Caroline soon had a steal and dunk combo to get the visitors as close as they'd been in ages, 30-28. Drew Crawford and Noua came to Andorra's rescue with back-to-back triples to which Noua added free throws. Miller-McIntyre took over then, dishing identical backdoor alley-oop dunks to Oriol Pauli and Noua and scoring 4 points of his own to leave Andorra a sudden and massive 46-30 halftime lead.
Reynolds, Williams and Caroline combined for the first 7 points after halftime to get Trento back in the game at 46-37. Noua and Arteaga would restore Andorra's double-digit lead at 50-38, but Reynolds and Williams were joined by Saunders in lowering the difference again, and when Forray downed another shot, it was 53-47. Soon it was Desonta Bradford burying a triple at 55-53, but Hannah answered in kind, Pauli hit free throws and Noua downed a baseline jumper to avert the takeover. Caroline's free throw ended a three-minute drought for Trento but Andorra still led 62-54 after 30 minutes.
Noua lengthened the lead to open the final quarter and kept it going with a three-pointer to send him to 20 points and push the lead up to 69-54. Saunders finally ended Trento's draught with free throws, but Hannah's triple made it 72-56, matching Andorra's big halftime lead. Saunders scored the next 5 points for Trento but by the time his next shot fell, there were 3 minutes left and Andorra still led 76-64. Diego Flaccadori and Reynolds gave Trento a final hope with back-to-back triples at 79-70, but Andorra held the visitors without any more points for 2 minutes and walked off with a double-digit win.
Pivotal performer: Noua's personal best
In his first EuroCup home game in Andorra, forward Amine Noua showed the local fans why he can be such a key to the team's fortunes. The 24-year-old forward had played 31 games in the EuroCup and another 53 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague since 2017, but he never put it together offensively in either competition like on Wednesday, when he scored a career-high 20 points.
Noua let the game come to him for those points, making 6 of 10 two-point shots and 2 of 4 triples while going 2 of 2 from the line. His other compelling stat was 3 blocks, which was good evidence that Andorra's new forward can make his presence felt at both ends of the floor.
Key sequence: Andorra's run-up to halftime
Although MoraBanc Andorra had led already by 11 points and never seemed out of control yet, the truth was that Jordan Caroline had willed Dolomiti Energia Trento to within 30-28 midway through the second quarter with his 17 points already. With 4 minutes left until halftime, momentum could have stayed with the visitors. Instead, Andorra took it back. First came back-to-back three-pointers from Drew Crawford and Amine Noua. Later came back-to-back alley-oop dunks by Oriol Pauli and Noua.
In the middle of it all was Codi Miller-McIntyre, dishing those 4 assists and drawing an unsportsmanlike foul for 2 free throws and score the last basket of the half for a remarkable 46-30 lead after a 16-2 run. Although Trento would rally again in the second half to within 2 points, Andorra's resilience was established now, and the lead was never lost.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021