MoraBanc leaps guest Monaco in blowout
In a battle of principalities in Group A, MoraBanc Andorra pulled away at home to defeat AS Monaco 95-68 on Tuesday. Both teams now have 3-3 records, but Andorra moved ahead into third place for having eclipsed Monaco's 16-point advantage from their first meeting. Andorra took over the scoreboard with a 13-2 run midway through the second quarter, but had to overcome two more lead changes, the last at 38-40 shortly after halftime. A 36-17 stretch in the next 11 minutes assured the victory, and Andorra kept its foot on the gas to win the tiebreaker as well. Clevin Hannah and Jeremy Senglin posted 16 points each for the winners, while Tyson Perez added 12 and Dejan Todorovic 10. Eric Buckner had 16 points for Monaco, and was followed by Dylan Ennis with 13, Anthony Clemmons with 12 and Yakuba Outtara with 11, all after halftime.
Clemmons and Buckner combined for 11 points as Monaco jumped ahead 11-14. An up-and-down pace was fine with the hosts, though, as Todorovic fed Nacho Llovet for a lead-changing layup at 15-14. Monaco surged again as Ennis stung his former team with a triple and Dee Bost copied him for a 19-25 score after 10 minutes. Monaca stayed in front only until Hannah got hot with 5 points in a row to reclaim a 28-27 advantage for the hosts. Andorra's Dejan Musli fed Bandja Sy as Todorovic did Musli to stretch the lead to 32-27. Bost stopped Andorra's 13-2 run from deep, Ennis went deeper and then Wilfried Yeguete scored to draw Monaco within 38-37 at halftime. Monaco took the lead back with a corner triple from Ouattara, but David Walker answered to flip the scoreboard again. Diagne hit a jumper and Frantz Massenat a fastbreak triple as Andorra scooted in front 48-40. Outtara continued as Monaco's sole scorer, but Perez answered before Hannah and Walker drilled triples to suddenly make it 59-44. The lead stayed as high as 62-47 before Clemmons reappeared from long range and short to get Monaco within 64-52 after 30 minutes. Ennis struck from deep to open the fourth quarter, lowering the difference to single digits. Tyson keyed an Andorra resurgence and Senglin hit a pair of bombs to make it 74-57, eclipsing the difference by which Monaco won their first game. Now the tie-break battle was engaged, with Senglin adding a three-point play and Massenat a triple at 81-61 with 4 minutes left. The same duo made sure down the stretch, with Senglin's four-point play finishing off a perfect night for the hosts.
Finding their range
Much better three-point shooting after halftime propelled Andorra's big margin. the hosts made just 2 of 9 triples (22.2%) in the first 20 minutes. After that, they went 9 for 16 (56.3%). Walker and Senglin made 3 each from deep, while Hannah and Massenat each downed a pair.
After Andorra took the lead back at 41-40 soon after halftime and started pulling away, the question was whether the hosts could also make up the 16-point difference from when Monaco won their season opener, 82-66. In the end, it wasn't even close as Senglin, in particular, buried dagger after dagger anytime the visitors tried to lower the difference. The 27-point final margin also means that Andorra leads Monaco for the next tiebreaker, overall plus-minus in the group, 24-2.
Stopping the scorer
Andorra's defense stopped cold the player who hurt them most back in Round 1, Monaco forward Jaleel O'Brien, who finished that first game with 16 points. Despite playing 22 minutes this time, O'Brien could not get a single shot off from the field and missed a pair of free throws to finish scoreless.
In a battle between once and former Andorra guards, Clevin Hannah outscored the player he replaced, Dylan Ennis, 16 to 13. His triple midway through the third quarter supplied the game's first double-digit lead at 56-44, and Andorra kept going from there.
Andorra hits the road in Round 7 to visit ratiopharm Ulm (1-4) of Germany next Tuesday. Monaco looks to rebound at home against strong Promitheas Patras (4-1) of Greece the next night.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019