Oostende Just Miss Virtus Upset

26 November 2008

Earl Boykins and Virtus Bologna survived in 70-69 thriller at home against Base Oostende in the EuroChallenge premier for both sides on Wednesday.

Matteo Boniciolli's Virtus got 19 points from Earl Boykins and 15 from Guilherme Giovannoni.

Oostende were threatening an upset in the final minutes.

A pair of Mike Bauer free throws gave the Belgian outfit a 64-63 lead with 2:40 remaining in the game.

But Keith Langford and Guilherme followed with three-balls for the Italians and they held on for a narrow triumph.

Virtus looked as if they were going to throw a knockout punch late in the first half when a Boykins jumper gave them a 40-18 advantage.

Oostende outscored them 13-1 over the final three and a half minutes of the second quarter to trail 41-31 at half-time.

The visitors silenced the home crowd when a Devin Green dunk put them in front at 49-48 with 2:18 to go in the third quarter and they went on top at 54-50 early in the fourth.

Langford hit two free throws, Boykins buried a jumper and Guilherme a three-pointer as Virtus stormed back into a 57-54 lead.

The game remained close and Bauer's free throws put Oostende back in front late, only for late three-pointers from Langford and Guilherme to propel Virtus to victory.

Virtus won despite being out-rebounded 39-25.

The Italians were nine of 24 from long range on the night compared to five of 14 for Oostende.

Virtus were 14 of 29 inside the arc and Oostende 22 of 46.

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