Dexia Mons-Hainaut registered its first-ever ULEB Cup win by downing EiffelTowers Den Bosch 92-84 at home in Group D on Tuesday night. Both teams join a four-way tie for second place in Group D along with Unics Kazan and Real Madrid, all one win away from the only undefeated team in this group, Crvena Zvezda. George Evans led the winners with 29 points on 14-for-18 shooting and 5 steals, proving once again that he is the heart and soul of his team. Kevin Houston posted an impressive double-double of 27 points on 8-for-11 shooting and 10 rebounds, while Yemi Nicholson added 11 points for Mons. Leon Rodgers had 20 points for EiffelTowers, Travis Young added 19 and Ray Weather 17 for the visitors. Houston and Evans combined for all the points during a 15-0 Mons run that gave the hosts a 28-16 lead after 10 minutes. Mons soon boosted its advantage to 44-24, but EiffelTowers didn't give in as free throws from Young tied the game at 60-60. Nicholson and an outstanding Evans allowed Mons to regain a 72-64 edge after 30 minutes, and even when EiffelTowers rallied to 80-79, a 10-2 run, capped by Monty Mack free throws, sealed the outcome of this back-and-forth Group D battle.
Young and Sam Jones opened the game with consecutive three-pointers for a 0-6 EiffelTowers lead, but Evans and Houston had other ideas in mind. Houston struck three times from downtown and combined with Evans for all the points in a mammoth 15-0 run that allowed Mons to get a 15-6 lead midway through the opening period. Erik Nelson got EiffelTowers going and Jones fired in a couple of jumpers to give the visitors some hope. Robert Owens dunked it and Weather hit another shot to get EiffelTowers within 19-16, but a three-point play by Houston and consecutive triples by Mathias Desaever and Evans allowed Mons to regain a 28-16 lead after 10 minutes. EiffelTowers struck back early in the second quarter, but its troubles kept coming on defense. Weathers found space for a layup, Young copied him soon after that while Sharone Wright dunked it, but EiffelTowers only managed to exchange baskets for a while. Evans paced Mons with three layups, and Houston and Dragan Markovic scored from downtown during a 12-2 run, which made it a 20-point game, 44-24. Everything seemed to be over for EiffelTowers, but the guests did not give up, as Rodgers took over with 7 unanswered points. Nicholson dunked it and Gerrit Major shined with a three-point play. However Weathers had 5 points on a layup-plus-foul and a final basket to cut the guests' deficit to 49-39 at halftime.
EiffelTowers continued its comeback after the break. Young and Nelson hit free throws and the team answered Houston's triple with a three from Young. Major scored around the basket and then erased Rodgers's jumper with another layup, good for a 56-47 Mons lead. Jones scored again, igniting a 4-13 run in which Rodgers hit a triple and Young had 6 points, including free throws to tie the game at 60-60. Mons regained its momentum right when it needed to, as Evans scored twice in the paint and Nicholson followed a jumper with a wild dunk in a 12-4 run, which Evas once again capped with a layup, enough to keep the hosts out of trouble, 72-64, after three quarters. Weathers and Rodgers opened the final period with consecutive baskets, which an outstanding Evans erased on the other end for a 76-68 Mons edge. Nelson fired in a three-pointer, but Houston answered with a layup to make it a 7-point game. Weathers hit 3 free throws and Young scored from downtown to get EiffelTowers back into the game, 78-77. Mons looked for its franchise player and Evans did not disappoint with a close basket, but Rodgers matched with free throws. Jim Potter hit a layup to allow Mons to enter the final three minutes with an 82-79 lead. Mack stepped up with a crucial three-point play and Evans scored again down the stretch to seal the win. EiffelTowers showed its courage to rally from a 20-point deficit, but Evans and Houston led Mons to a hard-fought win.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006