2001-02Regular SeasonRound 11
January 16, 2002 CET: 00:00
If it is Group D, you have to expect the unexpected. AEK didn't do that on Wednesday, and now it has lost sole possession of first place and is one of the many scraping for a top-four finish to reach the next round. One of the most thrilling games of the season saw Scavolini Pesaro escape with a big 68-70 victory from Athens on Melvin Booker's two-point buzzer beater. The 13-point second-half comeback by the visitors allowed Scavolini to tie AEK for first place, with both teams at 7-4 in this fascinating group. Booker had an outstanding performance, with 25 points, most of them in the second half. He did it all, making 6 of 9 two-pointers, 4 of 6 threes and dishing a floor-high 8 assists. What's more he scored the last 6 points for Scavolini, breaking an AEK home winning streak that had reached 12 games between the Euroleague and the Greek League.

From tipoff onward, both teams tried to apply their own tempo in a totally balanced game. AEK, led by J.R. Holden took an early 11-7 lead after four minutes, but Scavoloni came up big, first to tie the game at 14-14 and then to take the lead, 16-17, on a three-pointer made by Brad Traina. At the end of the first quarter, a 20-20 tie was the absolute proof of the balance and the prelude to a very interesting game. Holden had already scored 11 points, followed by Demos Dikoudis, Miroslav Beric and Traina with 5 each.

Great defense both on the perimeter and in the paint, plus good offensive ball movement, allowed AEK to open the gap to 7 points, 33-26, after 16 minutes. Scavolini was not about to let the home team get too far away, however. The visitors cut the margin to 35-31, but with three minutes until the half, Scavolini coach Stefano Pillastrini turned his defense from individual to zone. This decision backfired, giving Jim Bilba the opportunity to sink two consecutive three-pointers, leading to AEK's first double-digit lead, 43-32, going into the break. Holden was now up to 15 points, with Dikoudis and Bilba on 10 each, but Dikoudis and Andrew Betts also had three fouls, the same as Scavolini forward Marco Tusek. The visitors were led in scoring by Miroslav Beric with 7 points, which frankly seemed too little compared to the pace being set by AEK.

That double-digit lead actually grew in AEK's favor after halftime, hitting 13 points on two occasions, at 45-32 and 47-34. Scavolini just ignored the message. By that time the Italian team was playing excellent defense and beginning to find its offensive arms. Booker just exploded, scoring 10 points during the third quarter to lead his team on a 4-17 run. Before anyone in Athens knew it, Demarco Johnson was tying the game at 51-51 with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, but before it was over, Traina put his team ahead, 53-54, with a big three-pointer at the buzzer.

A thrilling last quarter proveda fair epilogue of a great Euroleague game. Booker was on fire, hitting two three-pointers to give his team a pair of six-point leads, first in 55-61 and then in 59-64, but AEK wasn't ready to give up either. Dikoudis cut the margin to 59-61 and then AEK exploded from the 6.25-meter line. Holden scored the first one (62-64), followed by Nikos Zissis (65-64) and Dikoudis with a three-pointer that finished off an 9-0 run and put AEK ahead, 68-64. At that point, Pillastrini took a risky but crucial decision, ordering his players into a zone press defense, which confused AEK. In last two minutes, the home team didn't manage to pass the ball inside, missing two three-pointers (Holden, Dikoudis), and giving Booker the opportunity to be crowned the king of the game. With 1:20 to play, he cut the margin to 68-65 with a free throw. With 40 seconds left, he tied the game with a three pointer (68-68), and at the buzzer he made the winning two-point basket, even though Holden and Bilba tried to stop him with a double team.
Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Vassilis Skountis, Athens
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Attendance: 3000
By Quarter1234
AEK Athens20231015
Scavolini Pesaro20122216
End of Quarter1234
AEK Athens20435368
Scavolini Pesaro20325470
AEK Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 HOLDEN, JR 40:00 22 5/9 3/11 3/6   2 2 3   1     2 4 13
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 10:00 3 0/1 1/2 0/2       1         2 1 -1
7 TAPOUTOS, CHRISTOS 4:23 2 1/1     1 1 2               4
9 CHATZIS, NIKOLAOS 20:00 2 1/4 0/1   1 1 2     1     1 2  
10 KIKILIAS, VASSILIS 16:02   0/1     1 3 4 3             6
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 25:03 15 2/5 2/4 5/9 2 4 6     3 1   4 7 13
12 BILBA, JIM 32:02 10 2/2 2/4   3 3 6 1 1 3 2   2 1 14
13 PASCHALIS, KOSTAS 1:19                              
14 BETTS, ANDY 21:36   0/4     2 9 11     2   2 3 2 2
15 KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS 29:35 14 4/9 1/2 3/4 6 5 11 1   2     3 3 17
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 68 15/36 9/24 11/21 16 30 46 9 1 12 3 2 17 20 70
        41.7% 37.5% 52.4%
Head coach: SAKOTA, DRAGAN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Scavolini Pesaro
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BERIC, MIROSLAV 27:44 7 1/4 1/3 2/2 1 1 2     1     2 1 2
5 BOOKER, MELVIN 37:11 25 6/9 4/6 1/2   2 2 8 1       3 2 29
7 JOHNSON, DEMARCO 24:24 11 3/8 1/1 2/4 1 5 6 2   2     2 4 12
8 GIGENA, SILVIO 0:58                   1     2   -3
10 MIDDLETON, LARRY 19:56 7 1/1 1/3 2/2   1 1           4 2 4
11 PECILE, ANDREA 2:49   0/1 0/1                       -2
12 TRAINA, BRADLEY 32:20 10 2/4 2/3 0/2 1   1 1 1     1   3 10
13 TUSEK, MARKO 25:37 4 2/10 0/2 0/1 5 4 9   2 2   2 3 3  
14 MAGGIOLI, MICHELE 29:01 6 3/5 0/1   1 7 8 3   2 2   4 2 12
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 70 18/42 9/20 7/13 10 22 32 14 4 8 2 3 20 17 67
        42.9% 45% 53.8%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

AEK Athens
"From the very first moment, we had problems on defense. As for our offense, we never found our rhythm. Scavolini punished us and we deserved it. In the last moments of the game, we should have fouled Booker in order to have a couple of seconds to run an attack, but we just let him shoot from the corner and win the game. I think that after we beat Olympiakos on the road, our brains went out of our heads. Now we have to try hard to accomplish the qualification for the next round."
Scavolini Pesaro
"It was a very strong game and I am very satisfied that we are the winners. In the first half we didn't manage to run the court. The AEK defense was tough, we missed a couple of shots and when we played the zone, Jim Bilba punished us with two open threes. In the third period we totally changed our game meaning that we ran the fast breaks and played much better defense. We had great concentration in the last moments of the game, so even though we missed three big free throws, we achieved a great win in Athens. Obviously, Melvin Booker was incredible, but I also give credit to our center, Maggioli, for his perfect defense on Betts, and to Traina for his astonishing work on guarding Holden."


AEK Athens
"It was a tough loss for us, especially because it happened at home. We should have won this game to accomplish the qualification. Now that we didn't, we have to win the other games. I think that we made many mistakes at the end of the game. Honestly, we were passive in the crucial moments letting Scavolini beat us at home. If we performed much more aggressively, we would be the winners, although this loss is a lesson for us and we have to go on and play hard in the future."
Scavolini Pesaro
"I think that it was a great game for us. We played hard defense in the second half. It helped us come back and fight for the victory. I felt hot tonight that's why I took the last couple of shots. OK, my shot at the buzzer beater was very important, but winning AEK on the road was a team effort not just me. I had fun tonight and I am glad that we return home as the winners."
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