Sluc Nancy finished secone in Group A and will have the home court advantage in at least the first elimination round by edging Hemofarm 89-81 in a big showdown on Tuesday. Nancy tied with Lietuvos Rytas atop the Group A standings with a final 7-3 record, but the 2005 ULEB Cup winners were first by beating Nancy twice during the season. Meanwhile, Hemofarm finished Group A with a 6-4 record and was third overall, as Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas lost its final game against Brose Baskets to end up fourth at 5-5. Branko Milisavljevic led the winners with 26 points and 6 assists. Tariq Kirksay added 17 points and 8 rebounds, Cedrick Banks added 13 while Maxime Zianveni scored 10 points and pulled down 9 boards for Nancy. Vladan Vukosavljevic had 20 points for Hemofarm. Predrag Suput added 18 while Aleksej Nesovic had 16 for the guests, which led 43-48 early in the third quarter. Milisavljevic had 10 points in a game-breaking 19-0 run which gave Nancy a 62-48 margin. Suput and Vukosavljevic brought Hemofarm within 78-75, but Kirksay and an unstoppable Milisavljevic allowed Nancy to add a key win down the stretch.
Hemofarm left no doubt about its power in the early going, as Suput scored twice around the basket while Milos Markovic added one from downtown for a 2-7 lead. Milisavljevic tried to change things with a jumper, but Velimir Radinovic and Suput kept Hemofarm ahead, 4-11. Dan McClintock took over with his second dunk that Nesovic erased with a jumper. Kirksay found his first basket and DeRon Hayes made free throws, a three-point play by Markovic gave Hemofarm a 10-16 edge. Victor Sanmick followed a layup with free throws while Banks hit one from downtown for a 19-20 Nancy deficit. A close basket by Ricky Soliver gave Nancy its first lead, 21-20, at the end of the first quarter. McClintock got a layup-plus-foul but Vukosavljevic and a red hot Nesovic allowed Hemofarm to regain the lead, 24-26. Milisavljevic stepped up with a three-point play while Miljan Rakic and Hayes traded baskets for a 29-28 score. Rakic scored again, as Nancy went scoreless for 3 minutes called a much-needed timeout. Vukosavljevic followed a layup-plus-foul with free throws while Nesovic added a second-chance layup to keep Hemofarm ahead, 31-38, after a 2-10 run. Nancy kept missing free throws and even when Banks fired in a triple, Milos Borisov answered from downtown to make the guests keep a 39-43 halftime edge.
McClintock dunked it again while Zianveni added a second-chance layup to get Nancy going after the break, but a three-pointer by Nemanja Artaunovic kept Hemofarm ahead, 43-48. It didn't last long, however, as Hemofarm went scoreless in the next 5 minutes. Meanwhile, Milisavljevic stepped up with 7 quick points while Banks followed free throws with a bomb from downtown to make Hemofrm call timeout at 57-48. Nancy kept rolling, as Kirksay scored in the paint while Milisavljevic buried another triple which capped a game-breaking 19-0 run and gave Nancy a 62-48 margin. Rakic nailed a triple while Suput added a jumper to get Hemofarm within 64-53 after three quarters. Hemofarm needed a quick comeback now and Vukosavljevic tried to ignit one with a layup and free throws. Even when Milisavljevic kept scoring, Nesovic hit one from downtown and Suput added a layup to bring Hemofarm back to life, 68-62. Kirksay hit back-to-back layups and Milisavljevic added another basket, but Hemofarm was on fire now. Suput stepped up with a three-point play and a triple while Vukosavljevic added a layup for a 78-75 deficit. Kirksay took over with a jumper and Zianveni hit free throws to give Nancy some freash air, 82-75. Vukosavljevic and Suput kept trying to complete Hemofarm's comeback, but Milisavljevic sealed the win from the free throw line.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007