Cholet got back to winning in suprise fashion in Group D on Tuesday as it defeated KK Zadar 76-65 to keep its slim second-round hopes alive. Cholet played aggressively throughout the game and took advantage of a big rebounding difference (36-26, 13 on offensive) to put away the victory. Cholet's defense, meanwhile, held Zadar to just 40% shooting. Cholet had contribution from all players, starting from Claude Marquis, who led the scorers with 14 points, followed by K'zell Wesson, who inked a big double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds. DeRon Hayes added 11, while Richard Barry scored 9 points and made 6 assists. Zadar had 16 points by guard Marko Popovic, 13 by Mladen Erjavec and 10 by Branimir Longin. Bad three-point accuracy (6 for 28, 21%) hurt the visitors. Cholet's record improved to 3-5, while Zadar's fell to 4-4.
Zadar started with Popovic on the bench, while Cholet started in an aggressive mood and took an early lead of 11-4 thanks to the good contribution of Marquis, who would pile up 10 points and 8 rebounds in the first half. Zadar came back with Longin and Erjavec hitting baskets to within 11-10. Cholet saved a two-point lead after 10 minutes, 15-13, and tried to deliver the heavy blow in the second period. That's when the hosts hopped forward to a seven-point gap, 28-21, on Barry's triple. But Popovic soon took his team back into the game with 5-0 run to 28-26) Both teams had bad shooting percentage in the first half, but Cholet managed to keep the lead thanks to Wesson, who led a rebounding advantage of 20-12. With 7 of those being on offense, Cholet took advantage of all the second chances to close the second period with 6 points to defend after intermission, 34-28.
Zadar tried to stun Cholet at the beginning of the third quarter, with 5-0 run made by Hrvoje Perincic and Erjavec to 34-33. The hosts resistedthe comeback with their first triple, nailed by Ivan Krasic (37-33). Zadar tied the score at 45 with Popovic and Perincic once again, but suddenly suffered a heavy run by Cholet. Krasic sank another triple, and led by Barry, Cholet raced to a big 13-4 run that gave Cholet solid 9 points lead at the end of the third period, 58-49 on Claude Ferchaud's three. Cholet put more intensity and the fourth quarter was an exalting ride for hosts: veteran Jim Bilba, Hayes and Wesson added important points to continue the run to a 12-point lead with 5 minutes to play, 65-53. Zadar called a timeout to organize the final assault, but right away suffered another 9-4 run that put Cholet in the clear at 74-57.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002