Goudelock shines in Fenerbahce Ulker's pivotal win in Piraeus
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul sent a message that echoed throughout the competition by downing Olympiacos Piraeus 64-73 in Group F at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Greece on Friday. Fenerbahce registered its seventh consecutive win and also grabbed its ninth straight road win - its last Turkish Airlines Euroleague road loss came on October 30. Fenerbahce and Olympiacos join CSKA Moscow in a three-way tie for first place, each with an 8-2 record. Fenerbahce also claimed the head-to-head tiebreak advantage over Olympiacos. Andrew Goudelock paced the winners with 24 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting. Nemanja Bjelica added 16 points and 9 rebounds for Fenerbahce. Oliver Lafayette led Olympiacos with 14 points. Bryant Dunston scored 12 and Georgios Printezis had 11 while Vassilis Spanoulis dished 10 assists for the hosts. A wild three-pointer by Kostas Sloukas gave Olympiacos a 19-17 lead late in the first quarter, but a tip-in by Bjelica tied it at 19-19 after 10 minutes. An outstanding Goudelock helped Fenerbahce to a 25-32 lead, enough for the guests to keep a 35-39 edge at halftime. A three-pointer by Spanoulis tied the game at 46-46 midway through the third quarter, but Goudelock and Jan Vesely helped the guests regain the lead, 50-55, through 30 minutes. Three-pointers by Emir Preldzic and Bjelica sealed the outcome at 56-68 with two minutes left. Olympiacos kept trying but Fenerbahce cruised to a well-deserved, really important road win.
First quarter: Intensity rules the early going
Tremmell Darden got Olympiacos going with a turnaround jumper in a very physical start of the game. Free throws by Spanoulis soon gave the Reds a 4-1 lead. Hickman and Vangelis Mantzaris made free throws before a layup by Bogdan Bogdanovic kept Fenerbahce within 6-5. After Andrew Goudelock struck from downtown, Georgios Printezis hit his trademark jump hook in the lane. A dunk by Semih Erden put the guests back ahead, 8-10. Bryant Dunston shined with a big slam that Goudelock bettered with a triple. Othello Hunter took over with an alley-oop dunk and a close jumper by Printezis put the Reds back ahead, 14-13. Erden kept pacing Fenerbahce with a power layup. Mantzaris hit foul shots, but so did Hickman for a 16-17 Fenerbahce edge. Kostas Sloukas stepped up with an eight-meter bomb, but a tip-in by Bjelica tied the game, 19-19, after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Three-pointers give Fener the lead
Hickman nailed a corner three early in the second, as Fenerbahce improve its defense. Olympiacos was held scoreless for more than three minutes, while a free throw by Bjelica and a jump hook by Jan Vesely gave the guests a 19-25 edge. Spanoulis found Oliver Lafayette for a three-pointer, but Oguz Savas quickly answered with a put-back layup. Lafayette and Nikos Zisis split free throws and a layup by Dunston kept Olympiacos within 25-28. Goudelock found space with a wide open triple, as Fenerbahce started to circulate the ball better with Zisis and Emir Preldzic together. Vesely split free throws and a dunk by Dunston brought Olympiacos within 27-32. Darden split foul shots and Lafayette nailed a triple off the dribble for a 31-32 scoreline. Bjelica split free throws and a driving layup by Lafayette tied it at 33-33. Bjelica struck from beyond the arc and Goudelock copied him for a 35-39 Fenerbahce edge at halftime.
Third quarter: Goudelock keeps guests ahead
Dunston dunked again soon after the break, but Bjelica matched him with a driving basket for a 37-41 Fenerbahce lead. Bogdanovic briefly silenced the crowd with a big slam off the baseline, but Printezis followed free throws with a fast break layup. Dunston ignited the crowd with a huge dunk in traffic that Goudelock bettered with a big three-pointer. Spanoulis answered from downtown. Goudelock hit a one-handed floater in the lane, but free throws by Dunston tied it at 48-48. Goudelock nailed his sixth triple before free throws by Sloukas kept Olympiacos within 50-51. Vesely took over with a dunk, as the game turned into a battle. Vesely jumped to catch a high pass and put it in to give Fenerbahce a 50-55 lead.
Fourth quarter: Defense completes the job for Fener
Printezis split free throws early in the quarter, as Fenerbahce struggled to find the way to the basket. Olympiacos missed a couple of open shots and a layup by Savas gave Fenerbahce some fresh air at 51-57. A three-pointer by Preldzic forced the Reds to call a much-needed timeout, 51-60. The guests kept dominating the game with outstanding defense, but a three-pointer by Lafayette gave the Reds plenty of hope at 54-60. Hunter swished a jump hook that Bjelica bettered with a critical three-pointer. Olympiacos kept taking off-balance shots without much success and a wild basket by Goudelock sealed the outcome, 56-65, with over three minutes left. Both teams started to fight for the tie-break advantage, a critical issue to get the home court advantage in the upcoming playoffs. Another triple by Bjelica made it a double-digit lead for the first time, 56-68, and allowed Fenerbahce to finish off a near-perfect road win.
Friday, March 13, 2015