Cedevita halts Bourg, 91-79, stays unbeaten
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana stayed among the leaders in Group B by acing its home opener on Wednesday with a 91-79 triumph over Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse. Cedevita is now 2-0, while Bourg continues seeking its first victory. The visitors came out strong and led by double digits in the first quarter, but Cedevita reeled it back with a 10-0 run after halftime to keep Bourg at bay the rest of the way. Edo Muric led five Cedevita scorers in double digits with 21 points. Marcus Keene was right behind with 20, while Jacob Pullen added 13, Melvin Ejim 12 and Jaka Blazic 11. Bourg had a big night from Pierre Pelos, with 21 points. Axel Julien scored 18 points and dished 8 assists while JaCorey Williams picked up 10 points
Pelos scored 5 points including the game's first triple as Bourg raced ahead 5-9 early. After Pelos hit another triple and Williams scored inside, Cedevita needed a timeout at 6-14. Julien and Rasheed Sulaimon lifted the difference to double digits, 8-18, before Zach Auguste and Pullen hit their first baskets for Cedevita. Ejim kept it going and soon Keene buried a triple to cut the difference to 17-18. Pelos and Muric traded triples but Muric did it again, suddenly giving Cedevita a 23-21 lead. Pullen would hit from long, too, to let Cedevita hold a 26-25 lead after 10 minutes.
Julien flipped the lead for Bourg with a three-pointer and Ejim tied with a dunk before Hayden Dalton hit from deep for the visitors. Muric and Mika traded baskets before Dalton's second triple put Bourg up 26-30. Nonetheless, Pullen busted a three-pointer and Keene a shorter jumper to make it 35-36. Blazic blazed full-court for the go-ahead layup and free throw for his first points. Pullen's next triple made it 41-36 before Williams converted Julien's eighth assist already for Bourg and Sulaimon forged another tie from deep, 41-41. Keene broke the jam, and when Pelos struck from deep, the Cedevita guard answered in kind at 46-44. Pelos tied it but Muric broke that one with a layup before Julien was fouled on the buzzer and hit 3 free throws for a 48-49 Bourg edge at the half.
Julien opened the second half with a triple and Williams soon had Bourg up 48-54, but Marko Radmanovic started Cedevita back from deep. Keene fed Auguste for a huge dunk and then blasted a triple in a sudden 10-0 run to a 58-54 Cedevita lead. And it wasn't over. After a scoring lull, Muric converted a three-point fastbreak at 61-54, Cedevita's biggest lead yet. Mika and Roos responded for Bourg and Hugo Benitez's first basket made it 64-60. But Blazic soon drained a triple and Ejim stole and dunked as Cedevita found its way to a 72-65 advantage after 30 minutes.
Blazic hit a reverse layup for the fourth quarter's first points at 74-65. But Mika and Pelos made sure that Cedevita did not pull away. Julien would soon make it 77-71 with his third triple of the night. But Muric, who had just finished a fastbreak, converted a four-point play for a new double-digit lead, 81-71 with under 5 minutes left. Keene pushed it higher, 86-75, with a strike from the arc, leaving no time for Bourg to make another push.
Pivotal performers: Trio led Cedevita all night
Three different players led the Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana effort from down by double digits to victory by 12 points. Point guard Marcus Keene, swingman Edu Muric and forward Melvin Ejim tied for the team-high PIR of 20. They were remarkable in their shooting efficiency, missing just 1 two-pointer and 4 three-pointers while combining for 53 points. Head coach Jurica Golemac had each of them and Jaka Blazic on the floor for more than 25 minutes each, despite Muric coming off the bench, in a sign that he knew he needed hot hands to turn back Bourg.
Stellar stats: Cedevita's super shooting
Ignore Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana's 11-for-20 accuracy at the free throw line, just 55.0%, and consider every other shot the winners took on Wednesday. From three-point distance, Cedevita tied its second-best three-point total in EuroCup play, with 14 made in 26 attempts, making for the club's second-best accuracy ever from the arc, 53.9%.
Just the same, Cedevita was even better closer to the basket. making a team-record 76.0% of its two-pointers, of which 19 out of 25 went through the net! That was also the second-best two-point success rate of the EuroCup season so far, which was better than any team managed all of last season.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021