BCM Gravelines Dunkerque mounted a gritty comeback to win 70-64 in the EuroChallenge at BC NN in Russia.
|Yannick Bokolo showed up sharp when it mattered most in the fourth quarter|
In the Group A clash played at Nizhny Novgorod, Benjamin Woodside and France international Yannick Bokolo played big in the fourth quarter when Gravelines finally took charge.
They had trailed by 13 points in the second quarter and were still behind 47-38 with 2:58 left in the third after a Dmitry Kulagin three-pointer for NN.
Gravelines, who are sixth in the French top flight, fought back and finally tied the contest at 51-51 on a Woodside three-ball with 6:44 to go.
After a Bokolo lay-up followed to give the visitors the lead, Valiantsin Yurchyk's jump shot knotted the game for the last time at 53-53.
Dounia Issa hit four straight free-throws and Bokolo buried a jumper as the French outfit took the lead for good.
Woodside finished with 23 points and Bokolo had 14 along with 10 rebounds.
Serbia international Ivan Paunic poured in 18 points in defeat.
Gravelines went to the line often, making 24 of 34 compared to an eight of eight night for BC NN.
"BC NN and Zoran Lukic personally did a very good job and the team is ready to compete on the European level. We were lucky to intercept the initiative in the fourth quarter. They played team basketball, it was a key problem. We have had no solution during almost the whole game and suddenly found it. The arena is very good and adaptive; I want to thank the BC NN personnel as they were very friendly."
Dunkerque Player Cyril Akpomedah:
"We expected a very tough game, so it happened and we were ready. Physic conditions came to the front. We felt more comfortable in the last quarter and upon the whole we seemed to be cooler. The beginning of the game was very hard for aur team, because of the multiple problems in defense. We managed to solve them and took the game in our hands. BC NN looks very good and would be very competitive playing in our local tournament."
Nizhny Novgorod Head Coach Zoran Lukic:
"I can say that I would be very happy if we have won this game. During the second half our players didn't do what they were to. They didn't want to attack properly and take the responsibility. We made too many turnovers and our big guys didn't succeed enough it the paint. We missed simple shots and failed the last quarter. This is probably we still lack the needed experience."
NN Player Jeleel Akindele:
"It was a hard game. The first half was good but then we gave Gravelines some chances. Gravelines is a good team. We had some chances but unfortunately lost. It is not the first time we lose in the 4th quarter."