Tofas does just enough to get past Andorra
Tofas Bursa did just enough to finish off the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 with a victory in beating MoraBanc Andorra 97-94 at home. Devin Williams tallied 22 points to pace Tofas, which finished Group H with a 4-2 record and second place. Sammy Mejia and Rion Brown both scored 13 points and Muhsin Yasar, Tarik Phillip and Baris Ermis all added 12 in the win. Andorra, last season’s semifinalist, which knew it had been eliminated going into the game, could not finish its EuroCup season on a high in falling to 1-5. Dejan Todorovic and David Jelinek both scored 14 points while Dejan Musli had 13 points and Bandja Sy chipped in 12 points.
Williams was hot early with 6 points as Tofas went up 8-7. Musli answered with two baskets and then a pair of threes from Jelinek gave Andorra an 8-17 lead. Brown came off the hosts' bench for a three-pointer and an assist on a basket by Phillip to pull Tofas within 13-17. Brown then added three-pointers on three straight possessions for a 24-20 lead after 10 minutes. Phillip sparked Tofas's 11-1 start to the second quarter with 5 points and an assist for a 35-21 cushion. Jelinek and Todorovic both knocked down threes at the other end as Andorra got the margin down to 45-39 only to see Tofas respond with a 10-2 run to move ahead 55-41. The lead was 58-46 at the break.
A Todorovic three-pointer to start the second half sparked a 0-12 run to knot the game at 58-58. Brown made a free throw after a technical foul for Tofas's first point after more than 3 minutes. Nacho Llovet gave the visitors the lead at 59-60. Yasar finally got Tofas's first basket of the third quarter and added 6 more points as the hosts moved ahead 70-64. An Ermis three had the gap at 75-66 after 30 minutes. Mejia started the final frame for an 11-point lead before Frantz Massenat and Jelinek connected from long range to trim the deficit to 80-76. DJ White and Mejia answered with back-to-back triples for an 86-76 lead. Andorra tried to get back into the game with a David Walker’s three making it 92-85, but Williams punched back with a three-point play for a 10-point advantage with under 2 minutes to play. Andorra did not give up with Sy scoring two baskets and Jeremy Senglin’s three-pointer making things interesting at 97-94 with 12 seconds remaining. Andorra got the ball back, but Walker missed a three-pointer which would have sent the game to overtime.
Record first half
Tofas poured in 58 points in the first half, setting a club record for the most points in the first 20 minutes of a EuroCup game, topping the previous best mark of 56.
Rion Brown had not played a game since Tofas's Round 5 game in the EuroCup, but the rust didn’t show as he came off the bench in the first quarter and nailed a three-pointer on his first touch and then buried back-to-back-to-back threes later in the quarter. All told, Brown had 13 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists.
Devin Williams was unstoppable for Tofas as he scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 6-of-7 free throws to go with 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals for a career-high performance index rating of 32.
Tofas connected on 52.2% of its three-pointers as well as 15 of 16 free throws (93.8%) while Andorra shot just 44.0% from long range and made 9 of 16 foul shots (56.3%).
Wednesday, March 4, 2020