ASVEL downs Zvezda in OT for first road win
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne registered its first road win of the season by rallying late in the fourth quarter before edging Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 72-74 after overtime on Friday. ASVEL did not have any lead until half-way through the extra session, but that did not prevent it from pulling out the victory to improve to a 5-3 and a share of seventh place with Real Madrid. Zvezda's record dropped to 2-6. The hosts never trailed in regulation time, leading by as much as 36-26 late in the second quarter, 41-32 early in the third, and 65-58 with less than 3 minutes to go in the fourth. But led by a monster effort by Tonye Jekiri, who amassed 18 points plus 19 rebounds, and his frontcourt partner Livio Jean-Charles, who scored 20 points, ASVEL rallied each time and overcame 22 turnovers. Edwin Jackson was also in double figures for the visitors with 11 points. Billy Baron paced Zvezda with 16 points, Lorenzo Brown had 15 points, and Dejan Davidovac collected 11 points and 7 rebounds.
The game started slow, with neither team scoring in the first 3 minutes. After Baron and Jekiri traded baskets, Brown had a three-point play and Branco Lazic a triple to open a 10-4 Zvezda lead. Jekiri and Jean-Charles each had three-point plays to tie 12-12 late in the first quarter but Zvezda went up 20-14 early in the second. Jackson hit a triple and a jumper for the visitors, but James Gist and Ognjen Dobric made plays at both ends of the floor, Davidovac knocked down a triple, and Brown had 6 points to help the hosts lead 36-26. David Lighty responded for ASVEL with a three-pointer and Jekiri had another put-back as the visitors closed within 36-32 at halftime. A three-pointer from Baron opened a 41-32 gap for Zvezda after the break, but soon back-to-back threes from Theo Maledon and Charles Kahudi helped ASVEL tie again at 41-41. Zvezda stepped up on defense again and got a triple and a jumper from Lazic to make another charge. A pair of baskets from Dobric put Zvezda up 54-47 going into the fourth quarter. Jordan Taylor sparked ASVEL's 6-0 run to open the fourth, but consecutive three-pointers from Baron settled Zvezda at 60-53. Jean-Charles joined Taylor in hitting a triple and then scored inside to get ASVEL within 65-63 with 1:55 to go. Jean-Charles then downed a pair of free throws with 15.8 seconds to send the game to overtime. In the extra session, Jackson drove for a layup to give ASVEL its first advantage of the night, 67-69. Davidovac had a tip-in as Zvezda re-took the lead 72-71 with 49 seconds to go, but on the ensuing possession Jekiri had a close-range basket, then made the key defensive play, knocking the ball away from Brown to Lighty, paving the way for ASVEL's road win.
No lead changes
During the regulation, there were seven ties and zero lead changes as Zvezda did not trail in the game until 2:28 left in overtime.
Force named Tonye Jekiri
It has been almost four years since the last time someone had 19 rebounds in a game, and Tonye Jekiri accomplished that along with scoring 18 points. Tonight, Jekiri pulled down 12 rebounds by halftime, had a double-double by the end of the third quarter, and then dominated the defensive boards at the end of the fourth and in overtime to help lift ASVEL to victory.
The two teams combined to block 13 shots. ASVEL tied its club record with 7 blocks and Zvezda tied its club record with 6.
Steals and turnovers
ASVEL committed 22 turnovers, the most by any EuroLeague team this season, caused by an excellent Zvezda defense, which had 14 steals, also a new season-high in the competition.
Next week in Round 9 both teams play on Tuesday. Zvezda travels to the German capital to face ALBA Berlin, while ASVEL returns home to host Anadolu Efes Istanbul.
Friday, November 15, 2019