ASVEL downs Baskonia in a thriller
After a back-and-forth battle that came down to the final seconds, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne grabbed its third win of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by edging KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 66-63 at home on Tuesday. ASVEL improved to 3-2 in the standings while Baskonia dropped to 2-3. Tonye Jekiri led the winners with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ismael Bako added 11 points and 3 blocks while Antoine Diot had 10 points for ASVEL. Toko Shengelia had 17 points for Baskonia and Youssoupha Fall added 11. Shengelia shined early, getting help from Nik Stauskas and Michael Eric to give Baskonia a 16-23 margin after 10 minutes. Matthew Strazel struck twice from downtown but Fall joined forces with Shengelia to keep the visitors ahead, 30-36, at halftime. Strazel, David Lighty and Edwin Jackson rescued ASVEL and Bako brought the hosts within 48-49 after 30 minutes. Diot took over early in the fourth quarter and Jekiri made the difference with key free throws down the stretch.
Shengelia got Baskonia going with a running hook and Shavon Shields added a jumper for a 0-4 lead. Jekiri buried a catch-and-shoot jumper, but Stauskas improved it with a triple and Shengelia scored twice around the basket to boost the lead to 2-11. Diot struck from downtown and Jekiri added a jumper, but Eric kept Baskonia ahead, 7-15. Charles Kahudi downed a triple, which Lighty followed with a turnaround jumper for a 12-15 ASVEL deficit. Matt Janning joined the three-point shootout, getting help from Luca Vildoza and Fall to give Baskonia a 16-23 margin after 10 minutes. Strazel sank a three-pointer early in the second quarter. Fall kept pacing the visitors with a put-back slam and Garino nailed one from beyond the arc for a 21-28 Baskonia lead. Strazel hit another triple and Jekiri added a put-back layup, but Fall and Shengelia kept the guests fully in charge, 28-32. Livio Jean-Charles scored in the low post only to see Shengelia answer for a 30-36 Baskonia lead at halftime.
Rihards Lomasz scored in penetration soon after the break, then Jekiri and Strazel combined for all the points in a 7-0 run that tied the game at 39-39. Shengelia rescued Baskonia with a jump hook and a driving layup by Stauskas gave his team fresh air at 39-43. Lighty answered from downtown and Jackson found his first points, but Garino and Ilimane Diop kept the visitors ahead, 45-49. Bako made it 48-49 after 30 minutes. Vildoza hit a floater early in the fourth quarter, but Bako answered with consecutive dunks to give ASVEL its first lead, 52-51. Jekiri scored in the paint after a Baskonia timeout and Diot caused the visitors to stop the game again at 57-51. Vildoza nailed a three-pointer, but so did Diot for a 62-56 ASVEL lead with 4 minutes left. Baskonia was not done, however, as Shengelia dunked and Pierria Henry banked in a triple to bring the visitors within 63-61. Jekiri drew a couple of fouls and hit 3 of 4 free throws. Fall hit a tip-in and Vildoza missed twice from downtown in the final seconds.
Jekiri made the difference with key free throws late, but also throughout the game. He finished the game with 16 points on 5-of-10 two-point shooting and 6-of-9 free throws plus 11 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 25. It was his fourth double-double this season.
Baskonia led 45-49 early in the fourth quarter, but Diot led a 12-2 run highlighted by Bako's consecutive dunks. In the end, the game went down to the wire and Baskonia could have sent it to overtime in the final seconds, but that reaction allowed ASVEL to keep the initiative in the decisive minutes.
Baskonia was limited to just 5-of-21 shooting from downtown (23.8%). ASVEL's defense stopped Baskonia's ball circulation; the visitors were only able to dish 11 assists and they committed 13 turnovers. ASVEL did a bit better, dishing 17 assists and with only 12 turnovers.
Did you notice?
Strazel made his EuroLeague debut at age 17; he was born on August 5, 2002. He played 13 minutes and finished the game with 9 points, hitting 3 of his 4 shots from beyond the arc. ASVEL brought out yet another youngster who stepped in for injured up-and-coming talent Theo Maledon.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action later this week - on Friday, November 1. ASVEL visits Valencia Basket. Baskonia hosts FC Bayern Munich.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019