Murphy stars as Skyliners keep Fiat winless
Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt took a big step towards the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 by rolling past short-handed Fiat Turin 75-85 on Tuesday. Erik Murphy led the way for the guests with career highs of 33 points and a 35 performance index rating, while Brady Heslip had 15 points as Skyliners improved to 4-2 in Group D. Jason Clark chipped in 11 points and Marco Voeller had 10 points in the win - Skyliners' second over Fiat and second on the road. Fiat remains the only team in the competition without a victory at 0-6 despite the return to the bench of head coach Larry Brown. Tyshawn Taylor and Tony Carr scored 18 points each to lead Fiat, while Victor Rudd had 13 and Jamil Wilson added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Fiat was decimated with injuries and only eight players played, including Tekele Cotton, who was injured in the first half and did not return to the court after the break.
Skyliners hit a pair of three-pointers early in the game and baskets from Voeller had the hosts up 5-10. Carr hit back-to-back threes at the other end to start a 12-2 run to go up 19-14. Richard Freudenberg answered with back-to-back triples for Skyliners, which led 21-24 after 10 minutes. Akeem Vargas started the second quarter with a three for the guests, who went up 21-29. Clark and Heslip connected from long range to extend the advantage to 26-38. Murphy hit 2 threes in scoring Skyliners' final 10 points for a 36-49 halftime lead. Skyliners kept on the throttle in the third quarter as Voeller scored 6 points and Heslip drained a three-pointer to make it 40-60. Another Murphy three-pointer increased the gap to 21. Fiat put together 6 straight points but trailed 55-72 after three quarters. Fiat tried to get back into the game with a 6-1 run to pull with 61-73. Trae Bell-Haynes however answered with a three-point play and Murphy buried back-to-back three-pointers as the lead swelled back to 19 points midway through the fourth quarter. Fiat did some cosmetics for the final result with 9 straight points, but never got within single digits.
Fiat was close to making things dramatic early in the fourth quarter as the deficit was down to 12 points, but Trae Bell-Haynes converted a three-point play before back-to-back three-pointers from Erik Murphy to put it out of reach.
Murphy was unstoppable with his 33 points and 35 index rating. The Finnish international hit 8 of 10 two-point shots and was 5 for 5 from long range to go with 7 rebounds.
Fiat youngster gets his chance
Fiat's injuries and short rotation gave Vincenzo Guaiana his 7DAYS EuroCup debut and the 17-year-old played tough defense in picking up a rebound and three fouls in 6:51 minutes on the court.
Skyliners hit 14 of 33 three-pointers (42.4%), while Fiat shot 8 for 22 from long range (36.4%). Skyliners also won the rebounding battle 23-34. Fiat could not take advantage of committing just 9 turnovers.
Turin will try to grab victory number one next week at Mornar Bar. Skyliners head back home for three of their final four games in Frankfurt, starting by hosting Unicaja Malaga.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018