|04 October 2011|
EUROCUP QUALIFYING ROUND
Dexia Mons Hainaut have pulled off the shock of the new season by knocking off Besiktas to reach the Eurocup Regular Season.
Two years on from their collapse at Valencia which saw Dexia blow a huge first-leg advantage and lose a Qualifying Round tie to La Taronja, Arik Shivek's side hit back from last week's 78-70 defeat in Istanbul and won at home on Tuesday night, 74-63.
Besiktas, despite the presence of an NBA superstar in Deron Williams, weren't good enough over two legs against Mons.
Anthony Slaughter led Dexia with 19 points and Ahmad Nivins contributed 18 and nine rebounds.
Williams, a Team USA Beijing Olympics gold-medal winner who has signed to play for Besiktas during the NBA lockout, made just three of 13 shots from the floor and scored seven points.
He had seven assists but turned the ball over six times.
Making the comeback remarkable for Dexia is that they faced a 17-point deficit on aggregate early in the second half on Tuesday when trailing 37-28.
Justin Cage started the comeback with five straight points for Mons.
Called the team's most important player last season by Shivek, Cage hit a shot from the arc and then scored on a fast-break to spark a 21-2 run which put the Belgian side on top, 49-39.
Shooting guard Slaughter caught fire offensively for the hosts, scoring 11 of the points in that important run.
Four of those came on a made three-pointer because Slaughter was fouled on the shot by Serhat Cetin and went to the line to sink the free-throw.
Dexia didn't take the lead on aggregate for good, however, until Quincy Taylor hit a jump shot for a 59-48 advantage with 5:33 to play.
The veteran then intercepted a pass and went in for a lay-up to stretch the lead to 59-48.
Dexia's advantage ballooned to 66-48 with 4:00 to play on a Warren Carter jumper.
Mons fans weren't able to celebrate until the very end, though, as Besiktas went on a 12-3 spurt to close the gap to 71-60.
Shivek called timeout and when play resumed, Besiktas fouled Taylor and he made only one of two for a 12-point lead.
Williams buried a tough three-pointer with 10 seconds to go to make it 72-63 and leave his side trailing by just a point on aggregate.
Taylor was again fouled just six seconds from time but this time, he drilled both attempts.
That left Besiktas needing a three-pointer to pull level in the tie on aggregate.
After a timeout, Zoran Erceg, wary of being fouled which would prevent him from attempting a three-ball, caught an inbounds pass and put up a wild shot from the arc that missed everything and Dexia rebounded before celebrating a famous win.
Besiktas will now play in the EuroChallenge while Dexia have the chance to follow Valencia's lead of 2010 because they went on to lift the Eurocup after their dramatic triumph in the Qualifying Round.