Loyd, Walden lead Zvezda past ASVEL
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade cruised to a convincing 68-89 win at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne in a makeup Round 4 encounter on Wednesday night. The opening quarter was closely contested, but Zvezda finished the second strong to establish a 38-44 halftime lead. The visitors sprinted further ahead with a 0-11 run in the third and were never threatened again, maintaining a double-digit lead the rest of the way. League-leading scorer Jordan Loyd paced the winners with 29 points and also contributed on defense with 5 steals, while the outstanding Corey Walden delivered 20 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. All 11 Zvezda players scored in a true team effort. Allerik Freeman led ASVEL with 14 points, while David Lighty and Guerschon Yabusele netted 11 apiece. Zvezda improved to 3-4, while ASVEL dropped to 1-4.
Ognjen Kuzmic started the scoring with a tip-in before Antoine Diot opened ASVEL’s account from deep. The scoring was evenly shared in the next few minutes with Loyd and Charles Kahudi trading triples. Freeman struck twice from deep for a 17-11 lead midway through the first and Ismael Bako’s fierce dunk protected the lead as the first quarter ended 21-17. Dejan Davidovac and Walden tied it early in the second and Taylor Rochestie completed a 0-7 run from deep for a 21-24 lead. Yabusele’s improvised layup and corner three restarted ASVEL. After Ognjen Dobric struck from long-range, Yabusele scored again for a home team 30-29 lead. Langston Hall ignited a Zvezda resurgence which saw Loyd take the baseline for a driving layup and Walden score from deep for a 33-39 edge. Duop Reath’s jumper and Loyd’s open triple kept Zvezda moving, and it was 38-44 at the half.
Lighty’s three-pointer got the second half started, but Loyd stayed hot to score in penetration. Diot’s triple was equaled by Walden and Freeman. Loyd also struck from beyond the arc for a 48-54 lead. Walden and Lighty exchanged inside scores before free throws from Walden and Davidovac’s corner three cemented Zvezda’s lead. Loyd’s open layup off a steal followed by free throws completed a 0-11 run for a 51-67 lead. Moustapha Fall got ASVEL back on the board from the foul line, making it 53-67 with 10 minutes remaining. William Howard started the fourth-quarter scoring, but Loyd immediately responded, before Yabusele’s three gave ASVEL hope. However, Walden penetrated to score for a 58-73 lead and Zvezda continued to cruise as Reath struck from deep for a 20-point margin, confirming the visiting team’s superiority on the night.
Mile Lisic remembered
Visiting coach Sasa Obradovic dedicated the victory to former Zvezda player Mile Lisic, who passed away earlier in the day at the age of 55. Lisic helped Zvezda win consecutive Yugoslav titles in 1993 and 1994 and later played in France with Le Mans and Limoges.
Bench makes a difference for Zvezda
Zvezda got a lot of help from its bench, led by Corey Walden with 20 points in a total of 40 from non-starters. ASVEL, in contrast, only had 26 points from its reserves.
Offensive issues for ASVEL
ASVEL’s offense fell apart in the second half. The home team only scored 4 points in more than 6 minutes as Zvezda raced to a double-digit lead and ended up committing 16 turnovers with 14 assists.
Zvezda D limits Fall
Moustapha Fall was ASVEL’s leading scorer coming into the game with an average of 12.5 points per game, but Zvezda’s aggressive defense meant he couldn’t get going in this one. The center only scored 2 free throws in the first half and ended up with just one field goal in his total of 7 points.
ASVEL stays at home to receive a visit from Zenit St Petersburg in Round 8 on Friday, while Zvezda heads back to Belgrade to welcome Real Madrid the same evening.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020