Fenerbahce roars in second half to beat Olympiacos
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul thoroughly dominated the second half to beat Olympiacos Piraeus 94-80 on Tuesday night at Ulker Sports and Event Hall. Playing its first game without injured stars Jan Vesely and Nando De Colo, Fenerbahce used its depth as a weapon with six players scoring in double figures. The result lifted Fenerbahce to 8-10 and ended Olympiacos’s three-game winning streak to send the Reds’ record to 12-6. Fenerbahce captain Melih Mahmutoglu led all scorers with 17 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting. Achille Polonara posted 15 points and 7 rebounds, DyShawn Pierre scored 14, Devin Booker tallied 12 points and 5 assists, Pierria Henry paired 11 points with 8 assists and Marko Guduric added 11 points and 5 assists. Former Fenerbahce star Kostas Sloukas led Olympiacos with 14 points, 7 assists and 4 steals. Tyler Dorsey also scored 14, Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou netted 12 points apiece and Hassan Martin had 10.
Sehmus Hazer starts Round 20 with a bang by throwing down an alley-oop slam courtesy of Henry’s assist. Sasha Vezenkov made a neat wrap-around pass to Moustapha Fall to get the Reds on the board. A triple by Polonara gave Fenerbahce a 6-2 start. Olympiacos scored the next 5 points – including a triple by Thomas Walkup – to take its first lead. Pierre stepped up with an assist, a layup and a block to push the hosts back in front. Printezis shined for Olympiacos with a basket inside, a few rebounds and 2 free throws to give Olympiacos the lead. Papanikolaou drive the baseline for a layup that capped a 0-8 run to end the quarter with Olympiacos on top 11-17.
Henry took the game by the horns at the start of the second quarter with a contested layup, an assist and 3 free throws in a 7-0 run. Shaquielle McKissic took charge for the Reds with a monster jam and an assist to Printezis for a triple and a 20-22 lead, but was shortly after helped off the court with a lower-body injury and did not return. Printezis added another three and Sloukas made one too as the lead reached 24-28. Henry wowed the crowd with a reverse layup that made it 28-30 midway through the quarter. Back-to-back threes by Mahmutoglu and Polonara had the crowd on its feet with the hosts back in the lead. Coach Bartzokas was ejected with 2 technical fouls during an Olympiacos timeout. Mahmutoglu made the resulting free throws for a 36-32 advantage. Papanikolaou made a layup and free throws in the final minute to give Olympiacos a 36-39 lead at the break.
Hazer evened the game with a three from the corner and Booker hot from the top of the key to put the hosts in front. Papanikolaou tied it with a triple only to see back-to-back threes by Booker and Polonara make it 50-44. Scoreless in the first half, Dorsey nailed a pair of threes in a 0-8 Olympiacos run. The lead continued to swing back and forth before Henry’s basket-plus-foul and turnovers on five straight Olympiacos possessions helped the hosts jump in front 61-54 on a Guduric triple. Sloukas revived Olympiacos with a triple and free throws, but Pierre beat the third-quarter buzzer with a three for a 66-59 lead.
Guduric gave Fenerbahce the game’s first double-digit lead to open the fourth quarter. Jehyve Floyd dunked and Metecan Birsen added a three to complete an 11-0 run going back to the third quarter. A basket by Martin did little to change the momentum. A pair of threes by Mahmutoglu further stretched the lead and Polonara added an alley-oop. Mahmutoglu’s fourth three of the night gave Fenerbahce its biggest lead, 89-69. Some late threes helped Olympiacos trim the deficit, but the outcome was already secure.
By the numbers: Fenerbahce dominates second half
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul took charge of the game in the second half against Olympiacos Piraeus on both ends of the floor. The hosts forced the Reds into 9 turnovers in the third quarter alone after they had just 3 in the first half. Fenerbahce collected 6 steals in the quarter, which not only derailed the visitors but set up the hosts’ attack. Fenerbahce shot 7 for 9 from behind the arc in the third quarter and was 12 for 18 in the second half, during which it outscored Olympiacos 58-41. Fenerbahce’s dished 18 of its 27 assists in the second half when it posted a PIR of 75. Its assist total tied for the fifth-most in club history.
Printezis climbs another all-time rung
Olympiacos Piraeus legend Georgios Printezis climb another run among the all-time EuroLeague greats with a performance index rating of 16 in Tuesday’s game. The forward posted 12 points with only 2 missed shots and grabbed 3 rebounds in 16 minutes of work. In doing so, he took his career PIR to 3,778 to pass Felipe Reyes (3,775) for sixth place on the all-time charts. Printezis can now put fifth place in his sights; that is held by his former Greek national teammates Dimitris Diamantidis, who amassed a PIR of 3,806 in his distinguished career with Panathinaikos Athens.
Interestingly, Printezis entered the game tied with Reyes for the third-most games played in competition history with 357. He tied with his long-time running mate Vassilis Spanoulis for the second-most games. The all-time leader is Paulius Jankunas of Zalgiris Kaunas with 381.
Fenerbahce enjoys big showings from reserves
With two of its biggest stars (Nando De Colo and Jan Vesely) sidelined as well as another starter (Marial Shayok), Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul knew it would need some extra contributions and they came from all over against Olympiacos Piraeus. Melih Mahmutoglu scored 17 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting for his best scoring output since 2019. Ismet Akpinar, in his first appearance since Round 10, played aggressive defense that helped turn the game around. He fouled out in less than 14 minutes, but was as active as could be in those minutes. Marko Guduric, best known for his scoring, also left it all on defense and fouled out in 12 minutes, though he also scored 11. All 11 players who took the floor scored for the winners and nine of them dished at least 1 assist.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022