Drama As Kataja Win Is A Point Short

04.12.2012

EUROCHALLENGE

Jerald Fields (Joensuun Kataja)
Jerald Fields had 19 points for Joensuun Kataja, but it was not enough to confirm his team's place in the Last 16

Joensunn Kataja fell one point short of booking a place in the EuroChallenge Last 16 as they edged out Group B rivals Keravnos 71-66.

Kataja rallied with a 9-0 run to the finish, earning them a victory which denied Keravnos qualification on the night, but Kataja needed to win by six points or more to make the place theirs.

Instead, the battle will now to go the final night of group action next week.

Kataja might look at the final score and see it as being agonisingly close, but given the spot they were in with two minutes left in the game, they should be happy to still be alive at all.

Any win would have seen Keravnos join Krasnye Krylia in the next round, and they were looking good when Lawrence Kinnard's dunk put them up 66-62 with 2:10 left to go.

But those would prove to be their final points of the night.

Petri Virtanen was fouled attempting a three and hit all his free throws to make it a one-point game, and Jerald Fields then hit a jump-shot to put Kataja on top. 

The turnovers and misses were mounting for Keravnos and Kataja kept on taking advantage, with Fields closing it out from the free-throw line as he hit four more in the final 52 seconds.

Keravnos had started the better of the two teams, but two three-pointers from Antti Kanervo highlighted an 18-2 run that turned a 16-9 Kataja deficit into a 27-18 lead in the second quarter.

Kataja would lead most of the way from there, but Keravnos kept it close to the finish.

Fields led Kataja with 19 points while Jermaine Flowers had 16 and Kanervo 11. 

Bobby Maze led Keravnos with 25 points while Andre Owens added 13.


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