Limoges rallies, KO's Zvezda
Limoges CSP came back from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade at home 72-71 for its first victory in the Top 16. The result eliminated Zvezda from quarterfinal contention and sent 2017 champion Unicaja Malaga into the next stage. Jerry Boutsiele collected 13 points and 13 rebounds and Isaiah Miles scored 13 points as Limoges finished the game with a 21-7 run. Jonathan Rousselle added 9 points - including the game-winning layup with 14 seconds left - as Limoges moved to 1-4 in Group G. Zvezda fell to 1-4. Joe Ragland collected 15 points, 6 assists and 2 steals in the loss, Billy Baron had 12 points and Ognjen Dobric 10.
The game was back and forth most of the first quarter. Dusan Ristic started well for the visitors with a pair of baskets for the first lead change, 5-6. The lead switched hands on three straight scores - three-pointers from Dobric and Damien Inglis and a Ragland three-point play that made it 10-12. Rousselle's triple gave Limoges the lead, but Baron had the visitors up 15-16 after 10 minutes. There were more lead changes in the second frame with Borisa Simanic's three being matched by Dwight Hardy before Filip Covic's triple started a 0-7 spurt for a 22-26 Zvezda lead. Zvezda went up 28-30 on a Ristic three-point, play but Miles and Jordan Taylor nailed three-pointers in a 10-2 run for a 38-32 advantage, which was 40-35 at intermission. William Howard's three-pointer put Limoges up 43-38. However, the hosts went ice cold, while Zvezda started getting hot with Dobric hitting a three and Baron knocking down back-to-back shots from long range in a 0-14 run to make it 43-52. Miles's three-pointer stopped a 5-minute scoreless stretch for Limoges only to see Zvezda use a 2-8 surge to finish the third quarter ahead 48-60. A Covic triple helped increase the lead to 51-64. Limoges was not ready to go down without a fight with Miles and Axel Bouteille nailing three-pointers to bring the hosts within 60-66. Boutsiele picked up 4 more points before Rousselle's three-pointer cut the margin to 70-71 with 48 seconds left. After a 24-second shot clock violation by Zvezda, Rousselle made a layup over Zvezda big men Michael Ojo and Mouhammad Faye with 14 seconds left. Stratos Perperoglou could not get the final attempt to go and Limoges got the win.
Zvezda led by 13 points early in the fourth quarter, but Isaiah Miles and Axel Bouteille knocked down three-pointers and a Jerry Boutsiele basket trimmed the gap to 60-66 – to give Limoges the confidence that it could come back.
Jonathan Rousselle had scored just 4 points in the first 39 minutes, but the 28-year-old French guard and Limoges captain came up huge in the final minute: draining a three-pointer with 48 seconds left and then scoring the game-winning layup with 14 seconds to play.
Limoges turned the ball over just 10 times while forcing 13 Zvezda turnovers and the hosts hit 11 of 25 (44.0%) three-pointers while outrebounding Zvezda 40-31.
Zvezda will bow out of the EuroCup this season with a home game against Unicaja Malaga on Tuesday.
Limoges will look to finish its Top 16 campaign with its second victory when it faces Valencia Basket on Wednesday.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019