Tofas protects home floor, holds off Cedevita
Tofas Bursa got back to its winning ways by holding on for a 94-89 win over visiting Cedevita Zagreb on Wednesday night. Both team now have 2-3 records in Group B. Tofas ended its two-game losing streak, while Cedevita lost its second game in a row. Kyle Weems led the winners with 23 points and Diante Garrett had 15 points and 9 assists. Justin Cobbs paced Cedevita with 15 points and 6 assists.
The teams traded blows from the get-go. Weems and Garrett hit back-to-back threes and Sammy Mejia had a put-back that made it 15-12. But James Bell hit a triple, and the visitors went in front. Toni Perkovic banked a jumper at the buzzer to make it 20-25 after 10 minutes. Vitor Benite got hot for Cedevita in the second quarter, sinking a long two and a pair of triples. However, the visitors did not pull away because Kenny Kadji and Yigit Arslan hit long-range shots for Tofas. Weems hit another three to tie it at 45-45, but Cobbs and Bell hit more from downtown, helping Cedevita to a 50-53 halftime lead. Stipanovic extended Cedevita's lead to 52-59 early in the third, but Mejia and Weems hit consecutive triples to put Tofas in front 62-61. Cedevita had a quick response through Stipanovic and Cook, but Weems sparked another Tofas run. The hosts scored the final 10 points of the third quarter, including a buzzer-beating tip-in from Berkan Durmaz to make it 74-67 after 30 minutes. The margin increased to 84-72 at the midway point of the fourth quarter, before Cedevita started to pull closer. Perkovic hit a corner triple, Ivan Ramljak scored on back-to-back fast breaks, and Bell's basket cut it to 88-85 with a minute to go. However, that is as close as the visitors got, as Weems drove the baseline to seal the outcome.
Cedevita led 64-67 late in the third quarter before Tofas made its key surge. Kyle Weems had a jumper and alley-oop layup and Muhsin Yasar scored twice before Berkan Durmaz finished the third quarter with a buzzer-beating tip-in to cap a 10-0 run. Tofas took a 74-67 lead into the fourth quarter, and never relinquished it.
Movers and shakers
Tofas had five scorers in double figures. In addition to Weems and Garrett, Sammy Mejia collected 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, Kenny Kadji scored 14 points, and Yasar added 12 in the winning effort. Cobbs led Cedevita with 15 points, Elgin Cook and Ivan Ramljak scored 13 apiece, with Ramljak also stealing 4 balls, and Vitor Benite netted 12 for the visitors.
Stellar first-quarter shooting
Both teams came out shooting the lights out. In the first two quarters, Tofas hit 13 of 19 two-pointers (68.4%) and 7 of 11 triples (63.6%). Cedevita made 13 of 20 two-pointers (65%) and 8 of 12 threes (66.7%). They combined to hit 15 triples while pulling down only 21 rebounds between them in 20 minutes. However, Cedevita hit only 1 more three-pointer in the second half, and Tofas hit only 2 more shots from downtown.
Did you catch?
Neither coach used a single substitution in the opening seven minutes and 48 seconds of the game. It was somewhat unusual considering that coaches today more often than not start rotating players early in the game, sometimes rotating as many as 10 players in the opening quarter alone.
Tofas stays home for Round 6 when it will welcome ALBA Berlin. Cedevita will also play on its home floor next Wednesday, playing hosts to Limoges CSP.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018