Playing for nothing but pride, Peristeri snapped a six-game losing streak with little difficulty on Thursday by downing the still-winless London Towers with a 75-87 road victory in Group B. London (0-10) tried to rally for its first victory, but Peristeri (3-9) was able to safeguard its lead by going 12-for-13 from the line down the stretch. Kostas Tsartsaris led the winners with 23 points and Adam Wojcik added 19, while Terrell Myers had the game-high 24 for London and Brett Eppehimer added 20.
Kostas Tsartsaris was the man for Peristeri (3-9) early in the first quarter scoring the team's first seven points, including a three, as Peristeri took a 7-6 lead. Alexander Kuhl had two chances for three-point plays only to miss the free-throw both times. Peristeri led 8-12 with 4:40 remaining and was already shooting poorly (5 for 8) from the line. Their lead grew to 12-19 with the help of four points by Adam Wojcik to cover baskets by London's Theodore Allen and Phil Hickey. A four-point play by Brett Eppehimer (fouled by Alexis Papadatos while nailing a three) and a basket by Stuart Robbins got the Towers back to within a point as the first quarter buzzer sounded, 18-19. Tsartsaris led the scoring with 9 for Peristeri and Eppehimer had 6 for the Towers.
Where would the Towers be without Terrell Myers? After Peristeri started the second quarter with the first 6 points to lead 18-25, Myers hit a free throw, then after Tsartsaris had added two more to his total, it was Myers versus Dahl Andersen. The Dane scored six straight for his team, while Myers racked up 11 in a row to bring the Towers to 32-35. That was the closest London would get as Wojcik scored two sweet left-handers for Peristeri to extend their lead. Andersen completed his 11 poins in the quarter on a ferocious put-back slam in traffic from Allen right at the buzzer. Peristeri took a 36-42 advantage into the half. Tsartsaris' 13 led Peristeri while Myers had 14 for the Towers.
Lord Byron Dinkins exploded for his first points of the night, scoring seven in the third quarter, as Peristeri established the first double-digit lead of the night 42-53. A three from Eppehimer followed by five straight points from Baker brought the Towers back to within six points after three quarters, 52-58.
The Towers slept through the first three minutes of the fourth quarter managing only a Robert Youngblood free throw and found themselves suddenly down by 15 points, 68-53. However, when they finally did wake up, they came out with a fury. Myers and Eppehimer each hit threes and Youngblood and Myers hit a two each in a 10-0 run that cut it to 68-63. In the last three minutes, Peristeri was rock-solid from the line, scoring 12 of 13, and prevented the Towers from getting back in it. Peristeri won easily by 12, 75-87.
Thursday, January 31, 2002
Rob Dugdale, London