EWE Baskets Oldenburg grinded out a huge 64-72 road win over Cedevita Zagreb on Wednesday. Both teams now have 5-3 record in a share of the second place in Group B, but EWE Baskets hold a tie-breaker for winning both head-to-head games. The hosts led for the most part of the opening three quarters, but never more than 45-39. However, four consecutive triples, including two from Nemanja Aleksandrov, put the visitors up 56-65, and they never relinquished the lead. Julius Jenkins and Rickey Paulding each scored 12 points in victory, while Aleksandrov had 10 and Andrea Crosariol 9 points. For Cedevita, which got its 4-game winning streak snapped, Nolan Smith scored 23, while Miro Bilan added 11.
Cedevita took the early lead with 9 consecutive points, sparked with a big dunk from Bilan. Luka Babic added a triple, and Smith had an easy fastbreak layup and a tough shot in the lane for 9-4. Bilan and Jusuf Nurkic kept the hosts in front, 13-8, before Paulding and Jenkins each sunk a three-pointer, making it 16-16 after the first quarter. Oldenburg took its first lead, 18-19, after 3 free throws from Jenkins, but Smith driving layup-plus-foul put the hosts back in front. Both teams were occasionally too reckless with the ball as EWE Baskets kept in touch from the foul line, while Ivan Ramljak and Tomislav Zubcic hit triples for 29-26. In the final minute of the quarter, Bilan made a basket-plus-foul before Dru Joyce scored from long range and 33-31 at halftime. After the break, Cedevita's defense did not allow a field goal for more than 4 minutes. On the other end, Ramljak had a fastbreak dunk, Bilan scored inside, and Allan Ray hit from top of the key for 39-33. Konrad Wysocki snapped Oldenburg's drought with a baseline jumper followed with a layup-plus-foul, and after Smith and Nurkic scored from close range, a three-pointer from Wysocki cut it t 45-44. A put-back from Jenkins put EWE Baskets in front, but Smith beat the third quarter buzzer for 47-46 after 30 minutes. Chris Kramer opened the quarter with a fastbreak layup, before Nurkic made a strong move inside for Cedevita. Defenses tightened up some more, before the visitors nailed triples on three consecutive possessions, two by Aleksandrov and one from Dominik Bahiense de Mello for 52-60. Smith snapped a 0-9 run, but Paulding nailed another shot from downtown and Jannik Freese a layup for 56-65. Cedevita never stopped hustling and turned to zone defense, however missed 4 free throws while cutting within 62-65 with 50 seconds to go. Jenkins made a pair of free throws, Smith drove for a layup to keep the hosts’ hopes alive, but Crosariol made a monster put-back dunk to seal the deal.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013