RheinEnergie Koeln prevailed in a three-point fight with Pallacanestro Cantu 79-74 on Tuesday to remain perfect atop Group J of the EuroCup.
The two teams combined for 17 three-pointers and Koeln used a perfect 17-17 performance from the free throw line to somehow off-set a nightmare 27 turnovers.
Rowan Barrett hit four three-pointers for the Italians but missed his last attempt which could have tied the game with eight seconds left. Instead Nikola Vucurovic, who had nine turnovers for the Germans, hit two free throws for the final margin.
|Glenn McGowan |
Nicolas Mazzarino led Cantu with 20 points while Barrett added 18 points, Kebu Stewart had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Goran Jurak chipped in 10 points.
Cantu lived and died behind the arc - shooting 31 three-pointers (and hitting nine) compared to 29 from inside. The long distance shooting kept the Italians in the game - down 19-16 after one period and 36-29 at halftime.
Pino Sacripanti's team was actually down 34-23 late in the second, but Barrett's three-pointer early in the third made it 36-35. Barrett hit another trey to keep his team within 45-42.
But the Koeln duo of McGowan and McElroy took over in the third frame, combining for 15 points as Sasa Obradovic's team opened a 12-point lead - 60-48 - late in the period.
Cantu made it 60-50 after 20 minutes and scored the first seven points of the fourth to make it 60-57.
Vucurovic drained a three-pointer to make it 67-63. Barrett answered with his own only to have Talts hit a trey as well to push the lead back up to four - 70-66.
McGowan's three pointer gave Koln a 73-68 lead with 1:49 left only to see Jurak rebound Stewart's missed free throw with 1:22 and put it back in for a 73-71 score-line.
Down 75-73, Phillip Jones grabbed a steal but missed a three-pointer with 33 seconds left. Vucurovic calmly drained two free throws before Stewart hit one of two with 23 seconds left.