Tofas Top Dolphins, Stay In Contention


5. Chinemelu Elonu (Tofas SC)
Chinemelu Elonu finished the game with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds

Tofas SC kept alive their hopes of progressing from Group K of the EuroChallenge and reduced those of Norrköping Dolphins as they hung on for a 76-70 win.

Tofas led for 37 minutes of the game but it was rarely comfortable in a tough scrap between two teams fighting for their lives in this competition.

Tofas briefly looked like running away with it early in the second quarter as they reeled off eight straight points to go 25-14 up on Samet Geyik's tip-in from Inanc Koc's missed lay-up.

But Joakim Kjellbom had eight points in a 12-3 run that closed the gap back up to two almost immediately, and that would be the pattern the rest of the way as Tofas continually made breaks only to be reeled straight back in.

The hosts scored the first six points of the second half to lead 38-29 on Austin Nichols' three-pointer, but a three from Mikael Lindqvist started a Dolphins response that made it 40-38 on Edgars Jeromanovs' lay-up.

The lead was back into double figures late in the third period when Tomislav Ruzic's three capped a 9-0 spurt that made it 53-43, but again the Dolphins hit back with three-pointers from Pierre Hampton and Christian Maraker reigning Tofas in.

They would be within two in the closing stages as Anton Saks split a pair of free throws to make it 67-65 with two minutes to go, but Chinemelu Elonu scored six in an 8-0 Tofas response that made the game safe.

Ruzic led Tofas with 19 points while Nichols had 15, Elonu 12 and Koc 10.

Maraker had 22 points while Kjellbom added 12.


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