Telekom Baskets Bonn held on for a 96-88 overtime victory against visiting Virtus Rome as two Group D teams out of Last 32 luck nonetheless battled proudly to finish their respectable Eurocup seasons on Thursday. Bonn led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter before Rome rallied to go ahead early in the fourth. Bonn needed Ryan Brooks to hit a layup with 5 seconds left to force OT, where the hosts scored the first 5 points on the way to an easy finish to a tough game. Jamel McLean and Benas Veikalas both scored 21 points for the winners, while David McCray added 12. Bonn finished its season in 5-5 in fourth place in Group D and Rome 3-7 in fifth. Rome got 24 points from Quinton Hosley and 23 from Taylor Jordan, but after rallying to lead in the final minute of regulation time, couldn't finish the job on the road.
Ties and lead changes, seven of them altogether, marked the early going as McLean and Veikas each had 5 points for the hosts, as Jones did for the visitors on the way to a 14-14 scoreboard. McCray's triple broke that tie as Bonn forged a 21-14 edge after 10 minutes. Rome followed layups by Hosley to get back in the game at 25-22 but Bonn stayed strong with an 8-2 run that McCray finished with a dunk. Veikalas's 5 points in a row meant the first double-digit lead, 40-29, which Bonn was able to preserve as the first half ended 48-37.
Bonn seemed to have the game in hand after the break, always staying a step ahead of Rome, as when Jared Jordan's three-point shot made it 57-43. But then Rome reeled off a 2-11 run with Hosley scoring 4 points to suddenly get within 60-54. Taylor's 8 points in a couple minutes led to Callistis Eziukwu's dunk for Rome that cut the difference even further, to 68-66, after 30 minutes. Taylor's free throws tied it and Riccardo Moraschini's triple put Roma ahead 68-71 to open the fourth quarter, completing a comeback from 15 points behind 10 minutes earlier. Taylor and Hosley kept it going until Roma led 74-81 on the latter's three-pointer with under 5 minutes to play. McClean hit a layup and Kurt Looby dunked and added a free throw for Bonn at 79-81. The teams traded free throws before Ryan Brooks made his first shot of the game for Bonn, a layup with 5 seconds left, to send the game to OT tied 83-83.
In the extra session, Bonn made the most of its second opportunity as Brooks sparked a 12-3 blast out of the gate that featured 4 more points by McLean as the home team gave its fans a last, happy memory of the 2013-14 Eurocup season.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013