Bourg edges Bahcesehir in thriller
In a thriller that featured 10 lead changes and seven ties in the fourth quarter alone, JL Bourg en Bresse edged Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul 79-77 at Ekinox on Tuesday. The victory lifted Bourg's record in Group A to 3-1, while sending last-placed Bahcesehir to 0-6. Zack Wright led the winners with 17 points and 7 assists, Danilo Andjusic scored 15, Pierre Pelos poured in 14 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, Maxime Courby added 10 and Alen Omic, who scored what proved to be the game-winner, finished with 9 points and 12 rebounds. Erick Green shined in defeat with 27 points and 5 steals, Ismet Akpinar tallied 17 points and 5 assists, Josh Owens scored 15 and Alex Perez 13.
Perez and Wright were hot early, combining for all but 1 point in the first 4 minutes with the score even at 8-8. Then the hosts started to run in a 6-0 spurt that prompted a Bahcesehir timeout. The answer came quickly as Green and Perez rallied the visitors on a 1-9 charge to regain the lead, 15-17. Andjusic helped Bourg nose in front 21-19 after 10 minutes. Omic took charge with a pair of assists and a second-chance score in a 7-0 Bourg start to the second quarter. Akpinar came alive for Bahcesehir to trim the gap to 28-24 midway through the second quarter. Wright took charge with a block, 2 free throws and a layup in extending the margin to 35-26. A triple by Andjusic gave Bourg its first double-digit advantage before Owens dunked to make it 43-35 at the break.
The lead was up to 48-39 after a layup by Wright when Green heated up with 11 points in less than 2 minutes to rally Bahcesehir and tie the game at 50-50. A three-pointer by Akpinar gave the visitors their first lead since the opening minutes, 54-55. A buzzer-beating floater by Pelos made it 57-58 at the end of the third quarter. A three by Pelos that got a favorable bounce off the rim tie the game early in the fourth before his turn-around jumper to beat the shot clock put Bourg up 62-60. Owens's put-back slam briefly gave Bahcesehir the lead at 66-67, but Andjusic responded on the next play. It remained close with Green sinking free throws for a 70-71 Bahcesehir edge with 3 minutes remaining. Each team scored on its next three possessions, after which Wright found a wide-open Omic for a go-ahead layup, 78-77, with 27.6 seconds to play. Akpinar missed a floater from close range at the other end and Zach Peacock grabbed the decisive rebound to put the game on ice.
Erick Green wound up on the losing side, but if not for his 27 points and 5 steals it is doubtful if the visitors would have been in the game. The combo-guard singlehandedly carried Bahcesehir back into the game in the third quarter when he outscored the entire Bourg team 2-11 in a 2-minute stretch to erase a 9-point deficit to tie the game at 50-50.
Bourg outrebounded Bahcesehir 46-32, including 16-7 on offensive rebounds. Amazingly, that did not have the expected impact as the visitors scored more second-chance points (12) than Bourg (10). However, the second-chance basket Bahcesehir needed most was not there in the end as Zach Peacock corralled Ismet Akpinar's last floater to put the game on ice. Bourg had the game's top three rebounders in Alen Omic (12), Pierre Pelos (7) and Peacock (7).
Milestones for Omic
It was a special night for Alen Omic even before he scored the go-ahead basket for Bourg in the game's final minute. With 5 offensive rebounds, he passed Vladimir Veremeenko for second place on the EuroCup's career charts with 214. He only trails Bojan Dublejevic (231). Omic's career average of 2.33 offensive rebounds per game is the second-highest among the competition's top 15 in that category with only Felipe Reyes (3.33) ranking higher. Omic also notched the 100th assist of his EuroCup career in the first half.
Bahcesehir returns home for Round 7, where it will host UNICS Kazan in search of its first win in the EuroCup. Bourg travels to Spain to challenge Group A leader Joventut Badalona. Both games are scheduled for Tuesday, November 10.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020