BC Khimki beat Cholet Basket 76-70 to wrap up first place in Group B, while damaging the visitors chances to reach the next stage. Kresmir Loncar led the way for the winners with 20 points on 8-for-12
two-point shooting. Anton Pushkov and Chris Quinn added 13 points apiece and Vitaly Fridzon tallies 11 with 5 assists. Fabien Causeur confirmed his all-around skills with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 fouls drawn to lead Cholet. Robert Hite bagged 15, Luc-Arthur Vebobe 14 and Randal Falker 10. Khimki tried to escape during the second quarter with a 15-4 run for a 35-27 lead, but a 3-13 Cholet run capped by back-to-back triples from Hite made it 53-54 late in the third quarter. The game remained balanced with the score tied at 64-64 through midway the fourth quarter before Loncar and Quinn scored the crucial baskets for the hosts.
A layup by Romain Duport gave an early 2-6 advantage to Cholet, but Fridzon scored to make it 7-8. William Gradit hit a jumper for the visitors before Alexey Zhukanenko assisted by Sergey Monya put Khimki in front for the first time, 11-10. An Egor Vyaltsev three made it 14-12, then back-to-back layups by Falker and Causeur and free throws posted by Hite gave a 14-18 margin to the guests. A triple by Hite and a free throw scored by Zoran Planinic fixed the score at 18-21 for the visitors at the end of the first quarter. Demetris Nichols scored to make it 20-23, but Pushkov drained a pair of free throws and an easy layup in the open court. Gradit answered with a slam to close within 30-25 at the midway point of the quarter. Quinn completed a three-point-play to push Khimki and Vyaltsev completed from mid range a 15-4 run to stay 35-27. Causeur answered immediately from downtown, but another basket plus free
throw of Loncar established again a 38-30 cushion. Loncar and Vebobe found again layups to finish 40-36 for Khimki at halftime.
Loncar converted an assist from Fridzon to lead 44-36, Vebobe made a dunk and then Fridzon and Hite exchanged layups for 46-40. A Pushkov layup put Khimki ahead 50-42 before Vebobe stole a ball and slammed it to climb within 50-48 with four minutes remaining in the quarter. Another Hite triple put Cholet as close as 52-51. After a free throw scored by Pushkov, a deep three by Hite put Cholet in front 53-54. Then Kelati and Falker scored quick baskets in the last 9 seconds to be 55-56 for the visitors after three quarters. Causeur opened the last quarter going all the way for 55-58, then scored another layup to extend the difference to 57-62. Loncar’s put back made it 59-62, then he tied the score from the foul line at 64-64, and from mid range put Khimki in front again with three minutes left. Gradit escaped in the open court to finish the break and tie the score again at 66-66. Quinn nailed a deep three-pointer answered by a mid-range jumper by Hite to be on 69-68 with a minute left. Quinn scored a pull-up jumper and then Nichols missed. Loncar scored just a free throw, and Planinic, Causeur and Monya scored all their attempts to fix the final 76-70.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011