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Turkey: Fener Fall To Besiktas

29 December 2005

Turkey's EuroCup representatives Fenerbahce lost to rivals and Turkish league leaders Besiktas Cola Turka on Wednesday despite a 25-point effort from Damir Mrsic.

Mrsic, who made seven of 14 from three-point range, has been his team's leading light the past couple of seasons but his contributions were not enough in Besiktas' lively Akatlar Sport Center as the hosts prevailed 73-68.

Michael Wright scored a team-high 21 points for the winners on seven of 12 (58%) shooting from the floor and he was also seven of eight (88%) from the line.

Besiktas clinched their 10th victory in 12 games while Fenerbahce are now 6-6.

The hosts stormed out to an 8-2 lead with Turkish international guard Kerem Tunceri providing much of the inspiration.

The home team stretched the advantage to 20-12 eight minutes into the contest.

Fener are a resilient bunch, though, so it was no surprise when they fought back and took the lead midway through the second quarter on a Mrsic three-pointer, one of his seven on the night.

The visitors suffered a blow two minutes before half-time when 2.1m center Semih Erden picked up his fourth foul.

Erden had been one of the home side's most effective players on the boards. Tunceri's shot from behind the arc for three of his 17 points in the game gave Besiktas a 40-37 lead as the teams went to the changing rooms at half-time.

Neither team was able to establish control in the third quarter, when Fener's Latvian center Kaspars Kambala came to life.

However, he also picked up his fourth personal and with their two big men on the bench in foul trouble, the visitors went to a zone and dared Besiktas to try and beat them from long range.

Germany's national team guard Mithat Demirel did just that, burying a pair of three-pointers, and Besiktas went on to edge the contest by five points.

Fenerbahce, who have triumphed in both of their games in Group I of the EuroCup's Round II, grabbed 40 rebounds - seven for Erden and eight for Kambala - to just 31 for Besiktas.

They also shot better from the field, 26 of 62 (41.9%) to the hosts' 24 of 61 (39.3%).

Fener also hit 11 three-pointers to just 10 for Besiktas.

However, the hosts got to the free throw line more often and hit 71% (15 of 21) compared to just 50% (five of 10) for the visitors.

Turk Telekom, Efes Pilsena and Ulkerspor also alongside Besiktas at the top with 10-2 marks.

Fenerbahce among five teams with 6-6 records. 

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