Tofas tops Arka for its first road win
Tofas Bursa claimed its first road win of the EuroCup season by holding off Arka Gdynia 77-87 on Tuesday night at Gdynia Arena. Sammy Mejia starred with 22 points, 5 assists and 5 steals and Diante Garrett scored 21 points and dished 5 assists to pace Tofas, which improved to 3-4 in Group B. Kenny Kadji added 17 points and Jeff Withey 11 for Tofas, which made 10 of 18 three-pointers (55.6%) and forced Arka into 15 turnovers. Robert Upshaw and Josh Bostic scored 21 points apiece and Deividas Dulkys netted 15 for Arka, which slipped to 1-6.
Upshaw scored Arka's first 7 points and James Florence and Bostic each added threes as the hosts jumped out to a 13-9 lead, but Withey kept the visitors close. Demonte Harper scored twice and set up Kadji for a triple in a 0-7 run that gave Tofas a 15-18 lead. The lead would change hands a few more times before Bostic – with Arka's 8th triple of the first quarter – made it 32-28 after 10 minutes. An Upshaw slam extended the hosts' lead to 6 early in the second quarter, however, Tofas turned steals into points in a 0-7 run led by Garrett to edge back ahead, 38-39. The teams traded baskets for some time, but Tofas scored on five straight possessions with Mejia shining as the visitors jumped ahead to 44-51. Garret's layup gave Tofas a 47-56 halftime advantage. Arka scored the first 7 points of the second half to get right back in the game. Upshaw tied it at 59-59 only to see Garrett score 5 in a 0-7 Tofas response. Kadji's slam gave the visitors a 62-68 lead through three quarters. A three-point play by Mejia followed by a triple by Garett gave Tofas its first double-digit lead, 62-74. A Kyle Weems jumper saw the difference peak at 14 and despite the best efforts of Arka down the stretch, the home team was unable to mount a serious late challenge.
For the second week in a row, 35-year-old Sammy Mejia turned back the clock with a vintage performance for Tofas. Mejia scored 8 points in the second quarter and then peppered the nets for 11 in the fourth as he finished with 22 points, 5 assists and 5 steals. He also made personal history by going over the 1,000-point mark for his EuroCup career.
Arka's three-point show
The home team led 32-28 after 10 minutes, but would not even score half as many points as it amassed in the first quarter in any subsequent quarter. The difference came down to three-pointers. Arka nailed 8 of 11 tries from downtown (72.7%) in the first quarter, but made just 5 of 17 (29.4%) the rest of the way. The 13 total triples matched the club record, but were not enough to beat Tofas.
Tofas faces a tough test next week in Round 8 when it hosts Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. Arka goes on the road to the Croatian capital to face Cedevita Zagreb.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018