Armia Win Opener Against Göttingen

08.11.2011

EUROCHALLENGE

6. Joakim Kjellbom (Norrköping Dolphins)
Joakim Kjellbom pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds as Armia opened their season with a home win over Göttingen

Armia launched their EuroChallenge campaign with an 82-76 win in Group B over German strugglers BG Göttingen on Tuesday in Tbilisi.

Sundiata Gaines enjoyed a terrific debut in the competition by pouring in a game-high 24 points.

The 25-year-old guard hit five of the team's eight shots from long range.

Armia dominated on the boards, pulling down 51 rebounds to just 30 for the Violets.

Will Thomas played all 40 minutes and had 13 rebounds to go with his 18 points, and Joakim Kjellbom had a game-high 15 boards along with nine points.

Jeremy Richardson also had 17 points and finished a rebound shy of a double-double.

Göttingen, the winners of the competition in 2010, are back in the EuroChallenge after spending last season in the Eurocup.

They have fallen in five of their first six games in the BEKO BBL but Stefan Mienack's men played their hearts out and nearly sprung an upset.

Trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Violets three times closed the gap to four, including when Louis Dale made it 75-71 with 1:53 to go after sinking a pair of free-throws.

Richardson then missed from behind the arc for Armia and Brazilian center Roberto Mafra rebounded for the visitors.

But Mafra's pass was intercepted by Richardson and shortly after, Gaines buried his last three-pointer of the game.

Paris Horne's three-ball with 17 seconds to go reduced the deficit to 80-76, forcing Armia to burn a timeout.

When play resumed, Göttingen's Dale fouled Richardson and the 27-year-old made both free-throws to ice the victory.

Göttingen were led by Horne's 22 points.

It has been a very painful period for Göttingen after a recent tragedy that has affected everyone at the club.

Just over a week ago, point guard Marco Grimaldi's girlfriend and sister were killed in a car crash after the team's game at LTi Giessen 46ers. Kyle Bailey's girlfriend was in the car as well but survived the accident.

Grimaldi and Bailey did not play at the weekend and also did not travel for the game against Armia.


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