SLUC Nancy blitzed Bizkaia Bilbao 87-73
SLUC Nancy went on a 15-0 run in the final three minutes to pull away from Bizkaia Bilbao Basket 87-73 and collect its first victory in Group A. Nicolas Batum had a masterful all-around performance with 26 points – including 11 in the decisive fourth quarter run – 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and 11 fouls received. Adrien Moerman scored 15 points for the French champions, Akin Akingbala added 14 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals while Jamal Shuler chipped in 10 points for the winners. Nancy improved to 1-1 and will next play at Fenerbahce Ulker. Bilbao, which dropped to 1-1 and next travels to Bennet Cantu, was led by 16 points from Marko Banic. Kosts Vasiliadis scored 12 points and Aaron Jackson had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
Jackson opened the scoring with a driving layup for Bilbao and then Batum answered with a basket off the glass. A spin move by Banic was followed by another transition layup by Jackson as Bilbao opened a 2-6 lead. D’Or Fisher blocked two straight shots and Alex Mumbru nailed a three-pointer at the other end for a 4-9 advantage. Shuler and Moerman both nailed three-pointers to cut the gap to 10-11. But D’Or Fisher stepped out for a long ball of his own and Jackson hit a lofting shot for a 10-16 lead for the guests, resulting in a Nancy timeout. Akingbala threw down a dunk to cut the deficit to four points. And a three-ball by Pape Philippe Amagou made it 16-18. Nancy’s Moussa Badiane appeared ready to dunk after a steal and tie the game but D’Or Fisher was charged with an unsportsmanlike foul. Badiane made one foul shot and then missed the jumper at the buzzer and Bilbao led 17-18 after one quarter.
Badiane opened the scoring in the second quarter with a dunk after a bounce pass from Batum for a 19-18 lead. Vasiliadis answered with a three-ball and Dimitrios Mavroeidis scored two baskets to open a 21-25 gap for the visitors. Victor Samnick converted a three-point play and Akingbala made two foul shots to give Nancy the lead 26-25. The lead went back and forth with Vasiliadis hitting two layups and Akingbala scoring twice inside before Jackson’s scoop layup off the glass gave Bizkaia a 30-33 lead. Moerman hit another three-pointer to even the game at 35-35 and then Vasiliadis nailed a long ball at the other end only to see but John Linehan answer with a triple at the buzzer for a tie game 38-38 at the break.
Moerman opened the scoring in the second half with a steal and layup and converted the three-point play. Shuler grabbed a steal and dunked to push the gap to 43-38. Alex Hervelle hit a layup and one for Bilbao and then tipped in another basket to knot the game at 43-43. Linehan would convert a three-point play and hit another layup to give Nancy a 52-46 lead – the biggest cushion of the game thus far for the host team. But Raul Lopez knocked down a three-pointer and then made two foul shots before Banic hit back-to-back jumpers for a 55-55 game. Batum though began taking over with a layup, two foul shots and a follow-up dunk for a 61-58 lead. Moerman nailed a buzzer beater from halfcourt but the referees ruled it was still in the Nancy player’s hand and the French side led 61-58 after three quarters.
Banic scored two straight three-point plays to begin the fourth quarter and push Bilbao ahead 61-64. Shuler however finally got Nancy on the board with a three-pointer to even the game at 64-64. Jackson grabbed a steal and drove in for a layup to make it 64-66. The host side scored the next six points on a Moerman jumper, a Shuler layup and a dunk by Akingbala for a 70-66 advantage. Lopez hit a long jumper to stop the run and two foul shots by Vasiliadis had Bilbao within 72-71 with just under three minutes to play. But Batum took over for good, exploiting the four fouls by Mumbru with a driving layup and three-point play and then dishing in the lane for an Akingbala dunk and converting another three-point play. With a minute to play, Batum made two free throws to push the Nancy margin to 82-71 and then nailed a long, long three-pointer and watched on in joy as Moerman threw down a break-away dunk to complete a 15-0 run and make it 87-71. Roger Grimau scored a final jumper for Bilbao, which let the game slip away in the final three minutes.
Thursday, October 27, 2011