Cholet used its homecourt advantage to pick itself up out of the Group D basement with a 94-73 blowout win against visiting Charleroi in a game it controlled after the first 5 minutes. Cholet thus improved its record to 2-4 while dropping the Belgians to 3-3. Cholet openend double-digit gaps starting in the first quarter and used great team play to keep Charleroi at bay. K'Zell Wesson pulled 14 rebounds as Cholet doubled Charleroi on the backboards, 43-21. All the Cholet players who reached the floor scored and between them they gave each other 26 assists. Guard Tony Stanley led the winners with 17 points, while Richard Barry added 15 points, shooting 6 for 7 from the field, plus 5 rebounds and 8 assists. Cholet had double-digit scoring also from Ivan Krasic, who contributed 15, and Claude Marquis and Deron Hayes, who added 10 each. Charleroi had 21 points by top scorer Marcus Faison, 12 by Roger Huggins and 10 each from Ronald Ellis and Andre Riddick.
Thanks to Barry, who nailed 13 points in the first 20 minutes of the game (starting with great 4 for 4 from the field), Cholet took first solid lead after 5 minutes, 16-10. Barry pushed the tempo of Cholet's game, and with Wesson's rebounds (8 in the first half), the hosts were able to set big 9-0 run in 4 minutes to take 15 points lead, 25-10. The first quarter ended with Charleroi completely confused and facing a 12-point deficit, 26-14. Cholet then closed the game in the second quarter. Hayes joined Barry on stage and added 10 key points (all his points came in the first half), and Charleroi was not able to resist the hosts' rising tide. Cholet ran the break to a 17-point lead, 41-24, after 15 minutes. The score was 54-36 at halftime, and it the hill was high for the guests.
Cholet really wanted to show its quality, and the third quarter saw the hosts still kicking it in. Krasic and Stanley lit up the arena, and Cholet's offense worked like a perfect machine in the third period. The score said it all: Cholet was dominating in all areas of the court, as demonstrated by a 24-point lead, 70-46, after 25 minutes. The lead reached 29 points for Cholet at the end of the quarter, 77-48. As it rose to 84-55, the hosts had no mercy, exploiting many offensive rebounds (11 for the game). Cholet managed the lead until the end, and the last quarter was nothing but a long agony for Charleroi.
Tuesday, December 3, 2002