Impressive defense on the road lifted Buducnost Voli Podgoria to its first road win of the season, 53-66 over Belgacom Spirou Charleroi on Tuesday in Group B of the Eurocup Regular Season. Buducnost raised its record to 2-1, which could be good enough for a first-place tie before this week’s games end, while Spirou has its back to the wall with a 0-3 record. A 3-10 run over the game's last 5 minutes decided the issue for the visitors after Spirou had pulled within 50-56. That's when Nikola Ivanovic blasted consecutive three-pointers to assure the victory. Demarquis Bost hit 3 of 5 threes on his way to a team-high 13 points for Buducnost. Ivanovic added 11, Gerald Lee 10, while Cedomir Vitkovac had a double-double of 10 points, 11 rebounds. For Spirou, Nikola Jankovic scored 15 points and Justin Hamilton 10, while Matt Walsh and Jekel Foster chipped in 9 each.
A 6-2 start by Spirou didn't deter the visitors at all as Aleksa Popovic and Ivanovic quickly tied it up and Vitkovac rambled for a pair of layups that put Buducnost ahead 6-10. A three-pointer by Hamilton got Spirou back to within 11-12 and his next basket matched free throws by Vitkovac. It took Walsh hitting 1 of 2 free throws for Spirou to even the scoreboard 14-14 after one quarter. Walsh opened the second quarter with 5 points in a row to seize the lead back for Spirou at 19-16 before Marko Popovic tied it for Buducnost. Strahinja Milosevic soon put the visitors up 20-22 . Buducnost boosted the difference thanks to a three-point play by Lee and a basket by Aleksa Popovic that capped a 3-13 run with his team leading 22-29. Again, Walsh ended a quarter with 1 of 2 free throws, but Buducnost remained in control, 25-33, at halftime.
Lee gave Buducnost its first double-digit difference, 25-35, to start the third quarter. Even when Foster and Hamilton cut that with 4 quick points, the visitors recharged with 5 points from Bost to zoom ahead 31-42. Bost answered Hamilton's next three-pointer with his second in a row and then made a third from downtown in less than 2 minutes for a 38-50 Buducnost edge. The visitors' lead reached 39-52 on a free throw by Ivanovic before ageless Andre Riddick dunked and Walsh banged a jumper to finish the third quarter getting their team within single digits again, 43-52. Spirou's surge continued with 3 early baskets by Jankovic in the fourth quarter, the last of which came with a free throw and narrowed the gap to 50-56. Ivanovic saw that as his signal to take over and immediately buried 2 triples in a row from the arc, pushing the lead back to 50-62 and taking the wind out of Spirou's sails. Although Foster got one of those three-pointers back, those would be Spirou's only points over the game's last 5 minutes as Buducnost used killer defense to put the wraps around a very valuable road win.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012