Strasbourg moved into a tie for second place in Group I by topping Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem 81-72 on Tuesday. The game was close until the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but Sanya Giffa and Eddie Shannon stepped up with clutch three-pointers and Jerusalem’s top gun, Timmy Bowers, ran out of answers as the hosts sealed the win. Strasbourg improved to 3-3, the same as Hapoel, but now holds the head-to-head tiebreak advantage after losing by only 1 point in the season-opener in Israel. Strasbourg visits Unics Kazan next week, while Hapoel hosts EiffelTowers Den Bosch. Jerusalem was without injured big man Marcus Slaughter, whose absence cleared the way for Strasbourg center Aaron Pettway to dominate inside to the tune of 20 points and 13 rebounds. Sanya Giffa added a season-high 16 points, John McCord posted 12 points and 10 boards, while Eddie Shannon finished with 11 points and 5 assists. Bowers paced Jerusalem with 23 points, Sharon Shason added 15 and Ramel Curry had 11.
Strasbourg controlled the opening tip and went right inside to Pettway. Shason answered back for Jerusalem with a triple, but Pettway made his presence felt at both ends, throwing down a two-handed jam to put the hosts on top 9-5. Back-to-back triples by Derrick Obasohan and Afik Nissim increased Strasbourg’s lead to 19-10. Curry and Shason came back with threes and despite another Nissim three, Curry’s buzzer-beater made it 23-21 after 10 minutes. Turnovers on both sides got the second period off to a slow start as Pettway continued to control the painted area. Jamie Arnold kept the visitors in the picture and back-to-back threes from Shason and Curry put Jerusalem on top 33-34. However 2 Gauthier Darrigand free throws and another Pettway score restored a 37-34 Strasbourg lead at halftime. Bowers tied the score with a three to open the second half and two minutes later Dror Hagag added a triple to put the visitors on top. Strasbourg fought right back as the game grew more competitive. Late in the period, Haga committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Darrigand, who netted the free throws to put Strasbourg ahead 4, but Bowers came up with a steal and layup to make it 55-53 heading into the fourth quarter. After a series of misses on both ends, Shannon scored from downtown for Strasbourg, but an Arnold basket and Guy Pniny free throws made it 58-57. Giffa came back with a three and Shannon added a jumper to put the hosts up 6. Bowers scored the next 5 points to get Hapoel back. However Giffa and Shannon came right back with big threes to make it 75-66 with less than two minutes left and Jerusalem had no answers as the hosts scored a vital win.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007