Chalon rallies for crucial road win at Prokom
Elan Chalon escaped from Ergo Arena in Gdynia with a 70-76 road win over Asseco Prokom, on Thursday to remain in the thick of the battle for a Top 16 spot. The French champs improved to 2-4 in Group B, while the Polish champs dropped to 1-5. Chalon used a 0-8 fourth-quarter run to take a 58-64 lead and never looked back. An excellent three-point shooting performance made the difference for the winners, who were 11 for 20 from downtown. Brion Rush led the winners with 18 points on 5 for 6 from downtown, Blake Schilb added 15 with 7 boards and Ilian Evtimov scored 13. Adam Hrycaniuk posted 17 with 10 rebounds for Asseco Prokom, Lukasz Koszarek netted 14 points, Jerrel Blassingame 12 and Frank Robinson 11.
First quarter: Hrycaniuk fuels early Prokom run
Adam Hrycaniuk opened the scoring with a jump hook, which Joffrey Lauvergne responded to with a three-pointer before Hrycaniuk’s mid-range jumper and layup put his side ahead 6-3. Steed Tchicamboud added a jumper, while Hrycaniuk rained unstoppable in the pain with another hook to raise the difference to 10-5. Koszarek scored from downtown to make it 13-5 as the guests decided to call timeout. Blassingame netted 3 of 4 free throws to extend the difference to 16-5, completing a 14-2 run. Shelden Williams ended the Chalon drought with a long jumper and then Evtmov hit a turnaround jumper to cut the deficit to 7. Mateusz Ponitka and Williams exchanged baskets from mid range. Rashid Mahalbasic’s layup made it 20-11. Schilb’s put back brought Chalon within 20-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter: Chalon battles back before the break
Ponitka opened the second quarter with a steal and two-handed dunk, answered by Schilb with a short jumper before deep three by Blassingame gave a double digit margin to Prokom, 25-15. Evtimov from beyond the arc scored for Chalon. Then Frank Robinson with a huge alley-oop dunk excited the crowd. Schilb and Hrycaniuk scored close to the basket to make it 29-20, but Rush hit a three and a put back by Jordan Aboudou cut the margin to 4. Koszarek from the corner kept Prokom rolling, but an alley-oop dunk by Aboudou excited the guests. Hrychaniuk again scored underneath before Robinson’s layup made it 35-27 with two minutes left. Tchicamboud scored four attempts from the foul line, Alex Acker bagged a jumper coming off a pick, and Evtimov finishing the break with a triple to make it 37-34 at halftime.
Third quarter: Ups and downs on both sides
Schilb tied the score with a deep three coming of a pick to open the third quarter. Hrychaniuk from mid range put Prokom ahead again. Mahalbasic in the paint raised the margin to 41-37. Rush scored again from downtown, but Mahalbasic fueled Prokom and made a good defensive effort to force Chalon into a 24-second violation and Robinson hit a three from the corner for a 46-40 lead at the midway point of the quarter. A Koszarek jumper kept the home team hot, but Nicolas Lang answered form downtown and the zone-press set by the French champs put Prokom in trouble. Blassingame’s deep three made it 51-43, but Rush answered the same way, fueling Schilb a few seconds later for easy points in the open court. Rush tied things at 51-51 with another bomb off a pick. Blassingame answered from long distance to end the third quarter at 54-51 for Prokom.
Fourth quarter: Rebounding and defense make the difference for Chalon
Robinson opened the scoring in the paint in the last quarter, but Rush remained hot and hit another three and a long two to tie the game at 56-56. Hrycaniuk was double teamed down low, but assisted Piot Szczotka for 2 easy points. However Aboudou stole a ball close to half court and finished the break for a tie then finished his one on one with a huge dunk for a 58-60 Chalon lead. A put back by Lang and Tchicamboud’s penetration made it 58-64. Koszarek and Mahalbasic scored layups to get the hosts within 62-64. Schilb used a pick to score a jumper. Hrycaniuk responded with a hook, but Chalon dominated under the offensive boards and had many second opportunities. A three by Evtimov gave the biggest margin yet to the guests, 64-69 with 2:08 remaining in the game. Hrycaniuk scored split free throws, then Evtimov made both for a 65-71 score with 47.4 seconds to the end. Koszarek missed an open three and Williams free throws made it 65-73. Koszarek scored going all the way, but Schilb was perfect from the line. Koszarek again from downtown tried to push his side to 70-75, but the free throw posted by Rush sealed the win for Chalon, 70-76.
Thursday, November 15, 2012