ASVEL's red-hot shooting overpowers Panathinaikos
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne captured back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a historic night from three-point range in knocking off Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 97-73 in a makeup game from Round 3. After upsetting league leaders FC Barcelona, ASVEL set club records with 17 made three-pointers and 70.8% three-point accuracy to improve to 3-6. David Lighty led the way with 19 points while Norris Cole and William Howard both hit 4 three-pointers and scored 16 points and Antoine Diot chipped in 10 points and 4 assists. Panathinaikos dropped to 3-7 despite Georgios Papagiannis collecting 14 points and 6 rebounds. Dinos Mitoglou added 12 points and Nemanja Nedovic 10 in the loss.
Mitoglou opened the scoring for the visitors and Ben Bentil made it 2-4. Allerik Freeman’s three-pointer gave ASVEL its first lead of the night, 7-4. It was the start of the host’s hot shooting night from deep. After a Mitoglou triple had Panathinaikos up 10-12, Cole drained his second three-pointer and Diot also hit a triple for a 20-17 ASVEL edge after 10 minutes. The three-pointers just kept falling in the second quarter, starting with Howard. Diot and Howard both hit another one while Papagiannis scored and Leonidas Kaselakis knocked down a three-pointer to bring Panathinaikos within 29-24. Amine Noua connected from deep to start a 15-2 run over more than 5 minutes which saw Howard and Cole hit three-pointers as well and Panathinaikos only connect on 2 free throws for a 44-26 cushion. Nedovic scored the final 4 points of the first half to make it 44-30 at the break.
Panathinaikos did a good job slowing down ASVEL to start the second half with the first 5 points and cutting the deficit to single figures, 44-35. Cole’s free throws - the first of the game taken by ASVEL - finally got ASVEL on the board after more than 2 minutes. The hosts pulled away with a 13-0 run thanks to Guerschon Yabusele and Cole both hitting threes and a Lighty three-point play for a 61-37 advantage. Panathinaikos took advantage of two ASVEL unsportsmanlike fouls for a 3-12 spurt to pull within 64-59 but the score was 68-51 after three quarters. Noua, Lighty and Howard all drained three-pointers as ASVEL’s onslaught continued with an 83-57 lead. Papagiannis tried to do whatever he could to get the guests closer, but Ismael Bako converted an and-one and Freeman hit another triple to increase the gap to 95-66.
New club records
ASVEL was absolutely on fire from long range, hitting 17 of 24 three-pointers for 70.8%; both the triples made and accuracy represented new club bests. ASVEL had twice before drained 14 three-pointers - the most recent time in December 2003. And the previous best shooting night had been 70.6% (12 of 17) in October 2002. The 17 three-pointers tied for 15th best all-time in the EuroLeague and the 70.8% was the sixth most accurate in the competition’s history.
In Cole we trust
ASVEL has now won the last three games that Norris Cole has played since he went down injured after the first two rounds - Round 7 at TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, in Round 11 vs FC Barcelona and now against Panathinaikos.
ASVEL’s three-point shooting stood out, but the team also shot 58.1% on two-pointers and made all 10 free throws. And ASVEL made up for 19 turnovers by holding Panathinaikos to 26.1% shooting on three-pointers.
ASVEL will head out on the road and take on Real Madrid in Round 12 action on December 4. Panathinaikos remains on the road and will travel to Italy to face AX Armani Exchange Milan on December 3 in its Round 12 game.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020