Virtus Use Second-Quarter Run As Launch Pad To Final Four


Virtus BolognaFiere booked a spot in the EuroChallenge Final Four with a 106-91 triumph in Italy against Telekom Baskets on Thursday.

Sharrod Ford led the winners in scoring for the second straight game, pouring in 28 points.

He was a perfect 12-of-12 inside the arc, though he missed both of his attempts from long range.

Ford had scored 17 points in Virtus' 86-76 Game 1 triumph 48 hours earlier in Bonn.

Virtus inflicted much of their damage from three-point land, making 13 of 25 (52%) while restricting the visitors from Germany to five of 14 (35.7%) shooting from the arc.

Bonn did have a promising start to the game and held a 33-32 advantage with 7:23 remaining in the second quarter.

Ford scored after receiving an alley-oop pass from Guilherme Giovannoni and then Ntousan Tsalikis-Vouktsevits followed with a three-ball for a 37-33 lead.

Michael Koch's outfit trailed the rest of the way.

The crowning blow came late in the first half when Virtus scored 12 unanswered points for a 56-42 lead.

Earl Boykins sparked the run with a trey and Reshawn Terry added a jump shot and a lay-up.

After Ford nailed a jumper, Alex Righetti connected from behind the arc for a 56-42 lead.

Bonn refused to give in but never got closer than nine in the fourth quarter as Virtus completed a 2-0 series win.

Brandon Bowman scored 21 points to lead Bonn, who will now focus on their German BBL campaign.

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