One of the two winless teams in the Euroleague has fought its way into the victory column tonight. Playing at home in Belgium, Oostende beat Partizan of Belgrade 104-94 in overtime to seal its first positive result after seven losses in Group D. That left London Towers as the only winless team left out of 32. Oostende is still needs a miracle to advance into the Top 16, but the victory Thursday was more than welcome by its fans. The loss drops Partizan record to 5-3. OOstende was led by Ralph Biggs with 31 points, including 11 in overtime. Andrius Giedraitis added 29 for the winners but the key player was Ed Cota and his great on court direction. Cota finished with 23 points, 7 assists and 6 steals. For Partizan, Vlado Scepanovic stayed on fire with 30 points while Jovo Stanojevic added 21 and Vlado Avdalovic 17.
In the first two quarters, Partizan always maintained a small lead, mainly thanks to its superb three-point shooting (6 of 7) and the scoring of Scepanovic (16 at halftime) and Stanojevic (14). But Oostende, led by Cota, struggled hard and managed to come back twice, both times in the same way: when Partizan was holding a 5-point lead and ball possession, two steals and two three-pointers by Cota cut the Yugoslav lead down.
The second half was way balanced until the last moments when Partizan was ahead by 5, but Oostende fought its way to tie the score at 83 after two free throws by Biggs. Right after that, Vesselin Petrovic, totally out of shape after his injury, missed 4 free throws in the last minute that forced the game to overtime.
The extra period saw only one team, Oostende, which scored 21 points in the five minutes, erasing Partizan off the playing floor and seizing its first win in this edition of the Euroleague, 104-94.
Thursday, December 13, 2001