Westermann leads Fenerbahce past Baskonia
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul registered its second consecutive road win in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by downing KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 65-79 at Fernando Buesa Arena on Thursday. Both teams now have a 7-11 record in the standings. Leo Westermann led the winners with 21 points, Derrick Williams added 16 and Nando De Colo scored 11. Toko Shengelia paced Baskonia with 21 points and Youssoupha Fall added 18 for the hosts. Westermann struck three times from downtown and Williams added another triple in a 0-12 run which gave Fenerbahce an 11-20 lead after 10 minutes. Shengelia and Shavon Shields brought Baskonia within 25-29, but De Colo and Luigi Datome fueled a 0-10 run which boosted the visitors' margin to 28-42 at halftime. Little changed after the break, as Fenerbahce boosted its margin to 40-62 late in the third quarter and held off Baskonia's comeback early in the fourth to seal the outcome.
Shengelia got Baskonia going with a three-pointer and a block on De Colo. Williams struck from downtown and Westermann added three consecutive shots from beyond the arc for a 3-12 Fenerbahce lead. Michael Eric dunked, but Williams soon made it a double-digit game, 5-16, with a monster slam. Fall stepped up with a tip-in and a put-back layup, however, Fenerbahce found answers off the bench as Melih Mahmutoglou and Ali Muhammed established a 9-20 Fenerbahce lead. Nik Stauskas scored in penetration to fix the score at 11-20 after 10 minutes. Williams and Shields exchanged three-pointers early in the second quarter before Mahmutoglou buried a rainbow jumper for a 14-25 Fenerbahce lead. Shengelia finished a three-chance Baskonia offense with a layup and Eric dunked again to give Baskonia hope at 18-25. Shengelia kept pushing the hosts with a three-point play, but Lauvergne hit a jump hook and Datome added a jumper to keep Fenerbahce way ahead, 22-29. Pierria Henry joined the three-point shootout, but so did De Colo and Datome in a 0-10 run that boosted the margin to 25-39. Matt Janning and De Colo each hit a triple to fix the halftime score at 28-42.
Shengelia started the second half as he did the first, with a basket and a block on De Colo, who quickly bounced back with a triple that made it a 15-point game. De Colo kept pushing Fenerbahce and Westermann downed his fourth three-pointer to break the game open at 33-51. Shengelia tried to change things with a couple of layups in transition which Stauskas followed with a dunk that made it 39-53. Mahmutoglu and Datome fueled an 0-8 run that Muhammed capped with a floater to boost the margin to 40-62. Fall and Shengelia brought Baskonia a bit closer, 45-62, after 30 minutes. Fall had 6 consecutive points early in the fourth quarter, including a tip-in and an alley-oop slam, to get Baskonia within 51-62 with an 11-0 run. Westermann stepped up with his fifth, sixth and seventh three-point shots, giving Fenerbahce plenty of fresh air at 54-71 with under 6 minutes left. Fall ignited the crowd with a power layup, but it was already too little, too late for Baskonia, as Fenerbahce cruised to a well-deserved win.
Westermann dynamited the game from the three-point line, finishing the game with 21 points on 7-of-8 three-point shots. He matched his career-best scoring night - he previously scored 21 points with Zalgiris Kaunas against Darussafaka Istanbul on November 4, 2016.
After a slow start, a three-pointer by Pierria Henry drew Baskonia within 25-29 late in the first half. Fenerbahce did not panic, however, as Nando De Colo answered from downtown, igniting a 0-10 run in which Malcolm Thomas hit a jump hook and Datome also made a triple to boost their team's margin to 25-39. Fenerbahce never looked back after that, keeping full control of the game until the final buzzer.
Fenerbahce made the difference in the first half, in which it hit 8 of 12 three-point shots (66.7%) and forced Baskonia into 10 turnovers. Fenerbahce ended up hitting 16 of 27 three-point shots (59.3%) and limited Baskonia to just 6-of-22 shooting from downtown (27.3%).
Did you notice?
Shengelia set a new career-high with a PIR of 37. His previous personal-best PIR, in 137 career games, was 33 against CSKA Moscow on December 29, 2017. He finished the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, 3 blocks and 7 fouls drawn. It was the highest PIR for a Baskonia player since Ioannis Bourousis had 44 against Olympiacos Piraeus on October 23, 2015.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action early next week. Fenerbahce hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Tuesday, January 14. Baskonia visits Zenit St Petersburg, featuring former players Colton Iverson and Alex Renfroe, the next night.
Thursday, January 9, 2020