Twenty points from Dylan Page helped Roanne Basket wrap up third place at EuroChallenge Final Four as they claimed an 86-80 success in an entertaining shoot-out against Scavolini Spar Pesaro.
|With Uchenna Nsonwu barely being a factor, back-up center Nicholas Lewis stepped up big with 16 points and 6 rebounds|
Both teams were hot from long range throughout but it was the French side that prevailed - despite trailing by ten points in the first half due to some flawless perimeter shooting by Michael Hicks-Taylor who finished with a game high 27 points (eatch highlight video here).
The American drained five triples from his first five attempts to put the Italians in control and with a 52-43 half-time advantage against a lacklustre Roanne who looked to be suffering a hangover from throwing away their semi-final with Göttingen.
Roanne looked to have received a rollicking from Coach Choulet in the locker rooms at the half and they came out a completely different team at the start of the third quarter.
With a visibly more aggressive approach at both ends of the floor, they began to haul themselves back into the game. While Page (watch his post-game reactions here) was influential it was defensive intensity and steals that proved decisive.
As too did a super cameo from Nicholas Lewis. The center scored 16 points and claimed 6 rebounds to help his team.
With three minutes to go in the third period, Roanne still trailed by ten points but they finally made their move by engineering a stunning 23-6 run either side of the quarter break.
While Scavolini Spar Pesaro tried to rally after their offensive drought, they couldn't find the stops on defence or anybody to offer production alongside Hicks-Taylor.
The Italians now have to focus on returning home to save their top flight status in the domestic league.
Roanne meanwhile may have picked up a morale-boosting success but it won't make-up for their nightmare semi-final collapse against Göttingen which is likely to haunt them for quite some time.