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Gravelines Battle To Away Victory

26 February 2013
EUROCHALLENGE
9. Kennedy Winston (BCM Gravelines)
Kennedy Winston led BCM Gravelines in their win on the road with 17 points

BCM Gravelines secured top spot in Group J of the EuroChallenge with a dogged 85-79 road victory over Hapoel Holon.

Hapoel were already eliminated from contention but certainly did not roll over as they fought back from a big early deficit to keep Gravelines honest to the buzzer.

Gravelines had confirmed their place in the quarter-finals, and their status as the class of the group, with a narrow 87-86 road win over French rivals Paris Levallois a week before and looked like cruising to win number five in the group as they rolled out to a 25-11 lead after just eight-and-a-half minutes of the contest.

But far from pointing to a coming rout, that 14-point lead - given to them by Kennedy Winston's free throws - proved to be their high-water mark in the game.

Instead, Hapoel fought a determined fight to get back into it, reeling off seven straight to make it 27-20 on Franklin Hassell's lay-up and then closing to 28-23 on Jerome Dyson's three-pointer.

A 10-0 run powered Gravelines into a 40-28 lead just before half-time, but the second half saw Hapoel chip away at the lead until a 15-4 spurt made it a one-point game, 61-60, after Hassell's dunk.

But Gravelines responded with 10 straight points, including threes from Abdoulaye Mbaye and Julius Johnson to take a lead Hapoel could not threaten.

Winston led a balanced Gravelines attack with 17 points while Ludovic Vaty had 15, Johnson and Juan Edwards had 12 apiece and Dwight Buycks 10.

Hassell had 21 points with nine rebounds for Hapoel while Lawrence Hill had 18 with 11 boards.

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