Baskonia downs ASVEL at home
KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz bested LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 79-65 at Fernando Buesa Arena on Thursday. Both teams now have 9-15 records in the standings. Toko Shengelia led the winners with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Zoran Dragic and Shavon Shields each added 12 points and Semaj Christon tallied 11 points and 10 assists for Baskonia. Adreian Payne paced ASVEL with 16 points. Baskonia led 39-37 at halftime before Christon and Shengelia took over after the break, leading the hosts to a 60-46 cushion late in the third quarter and little changed after that.
Shengelia got Baskonia going with a layup and Shields added a turnaround jumper for a 4-0 lead. ASVEL also got its frontcourt involved, as Payne and Tonye Jekiri tied the game at 6-6. Michael Eric scored twice in the paint in an 8-0 run in which Shengelia and Christon added respective layups for a 14-6 Baskonia lead. Antoine Diot and Shengelia traded three-pointers before Shields gave his team an 18-10 lead. Shengelia scored again, but a buzzer-beating corner triple by Payne brought ASVEL within 20-13 after 10 minutes. Payne dunked early in the second quarter and Ismail Bako erased Youssoupha Fall's put-back slam with a close basket for a 22-17 score. Fall dunked again with authority but Payne singlehandedly brought ASVEL within 24-21. Maledon buried a three-pointer that capped a 0-7 run. Diop stepped up with a put-back layup. Matthew Strazel took over with a wild three-point play, but Nik Stauskas and Dragic kept the hosts ahead, 31-27. After Dragic struck from beyond the arc, Jekiri and Livio Jean-Charles brought the visitors within 35-33. Dragic remained unstoppable, but Maledon answered with an acrobatic layup-plus-foul, bringing ASVEL within 39-37 at halftime.
Bako took over with an alley-oop dunk immediately after the break. Shields rescued Baskonia with 5 unanswered points, but Payne struck again from downtown to make it 44-42. Christon banked in a floater and fed Matt Janning for a three-pointer that ignited the crowd at 49-42. David Lighty hit a stop-and-pop jumper, but Baskonia kept running its offense through Christon, who scored in penetration and found Shengelia for a big dunk. Eric scored down low to make it a double-digit game, 55-44. Christon bettered Jordan Taylor's floater with a three-pointer and then Shengelia added a driving layup that broke the game open, 60-46. Rihards Lomasz and Jean-Charles tried to change things for ASVEL, bringing the visitors within 62-51 after 30 minutes. Lighty followed a turnaround jumper with a layup to give the visitors hope, 62-55, early in the fourth quarter. Payne capped a 0-9 run from the foul line. Janning downed back-to-back triples for a 68-57 score with 7 minutes left. Shields swished a mid-range jumper and Christon added a driving layup that sealed the outcome, 72-57, midway through the fourth quarter. ASVEL never gave up, but Baskonia had cruised to a well-deserved win.
Zoran Dragic came off the bench and gave Baskonia the energy and know-how it needed to get a much-needed win. He finished the game with 12 points on 7-of-8 free-throw shooting and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 11 in less than 15 minutes on the court.
Baskonia led 44-42, but found a new go-to guy in Christon, who scored a couple of baskets, fed Janning for a three-pointer and found Shengelia for a big dunk. Christon soon added a three-pointer in a 16-4 run that Shengelia capped with a layup. Baskonia went on to control the game until the final buzzer.
Rebounds and three-point shots made the difference in this game. Baskonia hit 7-of-16 three-point shots (43.8%) and ASVEL also hit 7 shots from downtown, but in 24 attempts (29.2%). Baskonia outrebounded ASVEL 42-25, including 11 offensive boards.
Did you notice?
It was ASVEL's first visit to Fernando Buesa Arena since 2003. ASVEL has not been able to beat Baskonia in EuroLeague action, registering losses in 2001, 2003 and now 2020. It managed to defeat Baskonia in the 1985-86 Korac Cup. ASVEL downed Baskonia 88-98 at Polideportivo de Mendizorroza on October 30, 1985, behind 32 points from Norris Bell.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action in two weeks, on Thursday, February 20. Baskonia hosts Zalgiris Kaunas, and ASVEL visits Olympiacos Piraeus.
Thursday, February 6, 2020