In a tough battle that went down to the wire, Asefa Estudiantes got a critical step to make it to the Eurocup Quarterfinals by edging CEZ Nymburk 86-88 in Group K in Pardubice, the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Estudiantes improved to 4-1 and almost have both feet into the next round. Meanwhile, Nymburk dropped to 0-5 and was already out of the Quarterfinals race. Pancho Jasen paced the winners with 18 points. Nik Caner-Medley added 14 while Jayson Granger had 10 for Estudiantes. Vladimir Stimac led Nymburk with 22 points on 9-of-11 two-pointers. Tre Simmons added 15, Pavel Slezak had 13 while Mike Lenzly got 10 for the hosts, that led 51-42 at halftime and managed to keep a 69-62 edge after 30 minutes. Caner-Medley led a 0-10 run that helped Estudiantes to get its first lead, 69-72. The game turned into a back-and-forth battle and a jumper by Simmons tied it, 86-86, with 16 seconds left. Nymburk fouled on Sergio Sanchez, who made both free throws, and Lenzly missed a driving shot in the hosts' final possession.
Simmons got Nymburk going with a jumper and Michal Kremen struck from downtown in an 8-0 opening run that Radek Necas capped with a layup. Jasen nailed a three-pointer and soon added free throws to rescue Estudiantes, 8-5. Kremen sank a jumper and Mike Lenzly bettered that with a triple for a 13-5 Nymburk edge. Jayson Granger joined the three-point shootout and Jasen matched Petr Benda's transition basket with a layup for a 15-10 score. Daniel clark scored down low but Necas and Benda fueled an 8-0 Nymburk run that Slezak capped with a fast break layup for a 23-12 margin. A three-pointer by Clark and a layup-plus-foul by Jasen got Estudiantes within 23-18 after 10 minutes. Sanchez and Slezak traded triples early in the second quarter and Jasen scored again for a 27-23 score. Slezak struck again from downtown and Dionte Christmas bettered Ty Ellis' stop-and-pop jumper with a triple, good for a 33-25 Nymburk margin. Caner-Medley hit a shot and Clark added a layup but back-to-back baskets by Stimac made it a double-digit game, 39-29. Albert Oliver sank a jumper and Ellis nailed a triple to give Estu some hope, 41-34. Slezak and Kremen nailed one apiece from downtown and Stimac scored again for a 49-37 Nymburk margin. Granger stepped up with a three-point play and Josh Asselin added a put-back basket but a buzzer- beating layup by Necas fixed the halftime score at 51-42.
Caner-Medley buried a three-pointer right after the break and soon scored in transition for a 51-47 Estudiantes deficit. Lenzly answered from downtown but Asselin erased it with a three-point play. Stimac scored down low but another triple by Sanchez got Estu within 59-55. Lenzly took over with a put-back basket and a three-pointer by Simmons gave Nymburk some fresh air, 64-55. Jiri Welsch answered from downtown and free throws by Granger kept Estu as close as 64-60. Oliver and Lenzly traded baskets but Benda allowed Nymburk to get a seven-point lead, 69-62, after 30 minutes. Caner-Medley hit free throws early in the fourth quarter, igniting a 0-10 run that he capped with free throws to give Estudiantes a 69-72 edge. Simmons stepped up with a jumper and free throws by Stimac kept Nymburk within 73-74. Welsch shined with a power basket that Christmas matched with a driving basket. Jasen took over with a three-point play but Simmons followed a jumper with free throws for a 79-79 tie with 3 minutes left. Stimac scored twice in the paint and Simmons split foul shots but a layup by Clark and a three-pointer by Jasen tied it at 84-84. A fast break layup by Oliver gave Estudiantes a 84-86 edge with 25 seconds left. Simmons hit a quick shot but Nymburk opted to foul on Sanchez, who hit both attempts with 12 seconds to go. Nymburk had the chance to send the game to overtime but Lenzly missed a driving shot at the buzzer.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011