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Fenerbahce Threes Too Much For Nymburk

13 December 2005

Damir Mrsic led Fenerbahce's charge from beyond the three-point stripe as the Turkish powers overcame CEZ Nymburk 92-84 in their first Group I game of the EuroCup.

Mrsic, the Bosnia-Herzegovina star, hit all five of his three-point attempts and finished with a game-high 23 points, and the team drained 11 of their 22 shots from behind the arc in out-lasting the Czechs.

Cameron Stevenson scored 18 points for Fenerbahce, who hosted last season's Europe League Final Four and finished fourth. While Kaspars Kambala added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds and Erdal Bibo tallied 15 points.

Radoslav Rancik's double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds was not enough despite Goran Savanovic (19) Maurice Whitfield (11) and Michel Nascimento (11) all scoring in double figures as well.

Nymburk actually out-rebounded Fenerbahce 40-26 and hit 61 per cent of their shots from inside the three-point stripe. But the Czech sharp shooters forget to bring their "A" game - making just three of 20 from downtown.

Nymburk led 5-3 early, but the Turks went on an 18-5 run to open a 21-10 lead. CEZ were able to close to 30-23 after the first 10 minutes. The second quarter was balanced, and Fenerbahce held a 51-45 advantage going into the locker room.

The Czechs scored the first three baskets of the second half, evening the game at 51-51. But Mrsic hit two three-pointers as Fenerbahce pushed the lead back up to 60-55 midway through the third period. Nymburk would not roll over as a Rancik dunk evened things at 63-63, and Savovic's layup just before the third quarter buzzer made it 68-67.

Whitfield's two free throws to start the fourth gave Nymburk their first lead since 5-3. And his layup gave them the lead again 71-70 with 8:29 remaining.

But Fenerbahce's long-distance gunners warmed up again. Hakan Demirel and Mrsic hit back-to-back threes to give the Turks a 76-71 lead.

Stanislav Votroubek evened things at 79-79 with a layup with just more than four minutes left. Then Bibo's three-pointer was matched by one from Charles Mandic.

But Stevenson answered with his own three-pointer while Whitfield missed his three-point attempt. Stevenson added a jumper to make it 87-82 with 1:02 remaining.

The Czechs were left to hoping Fenerbahce missed their free throws.

Despite missing nine of their first 27 attempts, the Turks hit five of six down the stretch to close out the game.

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