Strasbourg edges Bamberg for 4-0 record
Strasbourg remained perfect on the season with another close call, putting a strong hold on the first place in Group A with a dramatic 77-74 win over the visiting Brose Baskets Bamberg on Wednesday. Paced by 24 points from Ali Traore, Strasbourg improved to 4-0 atop of the standings, already holding a two game lead over second-place Bamberg which is in a three-way tie with 2-2 record. Strasbourg took the lead for good late in the third quarter, but Bamberg kept it close until the final seconds and a put-back from Matt Howard that sealed the deal. Traore also had 6 rebounds and 4 blocks, while Howard finished the night with 19 points plus 7 boards. Antoine Diot had 10 points and 8 assists in victory. Brad Wanamaker scored 23 points and dished 6 assists for Bamberg, while Janis Strelnieks hit 5 of 7 from long range for 21 points in defeat.
Strasbourg and Bamberg traded baskets from the get-go. Brad Wanamaker hit a triple, and Ryan Thompson had a basket-plus-free throw for the visitors, but Matt Howard and Ali Traore each had a pair of baskets for the hosts, 8-7. Bamberg regained the lead through Wanamaker and Daniel Theis, but Antoine Diot and Anthony Dobbins hit triples in the last two minutes of the quarter for 20-17 after 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples from Janis Strelnieks and Thompson put Bamberg ahead again, before Wanamaker assisted for dunks from Trevor Mbakwe and Theis for 22-27. But Traore snapped a 0-10 run, and Louis Campbell hit from downtown for Strasbourg on the way to 29-27. Traore scored 6 more points, but Theis knocked it down from downtown and the visitors hit 6 of 8 foul shots to lead 37-38 at halftime.
Strasbourg took the lead after the break behind work on the boards from Traore and Howard, and a triple from Axel Toupane. Traore made it 48-42, but Wanamaker, who was often finding free throw line, scoring 9 points for the visitors in the quarter up to that point, tied it at 49-49. However, Diot with a basket, a steal, and a pair of assists for Traore’s layups helped make it 57-54 after three quarters, before a triple from Jeremy Leloup in the fourth made it 60-56. A jumper from Leloup kept the hosts ahead, and put-backs from Traore and Howard extended it to 69-64. Strelnieks hit his second triple of the quarter, but Howard and Traore kept Strasbourg with 75-66. However, Strelnieks buried couple more triples on back-to-back possessions, cutting it to 75-72 in the final minute, before a put-back from Howard put an end to Bamberg’s hopes.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014