BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Yannick Bokolo and BCM Gravelines produced a stunning 73-31second-half against Elan Chalon|
BCM Gravelines Dunkerque and Paris Levallois continue at the summit of the French Pro A table, with the number of room-mates in the top floor apartment reducing at the weekend.
The two EuroChallenge sides improved to 10-5 and are now tied in first place only with Strasbourg and with one out of Lyon-Villeurbanne or Le Mans, as the latter play host to the Lyonnais on Monday night.
It was BCM which made sure that Elan Chalon would drop off the pace at the top, as they came back after the two-week winter break and delivered one of their best performances this season to defeat the reigning champions 102-69.
Playing at home, BCM started off looking a bit rusty and Chalon took a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased the gap to nine, 39-29, at half-time.
When the two teams returned to the court after the interval, the 3,000-strong crowd at Sportica arena must have thought they were now watching a different game.
BCM stormed out of the gates and scored 39 points in ten minutes to turn the encounter on its head.
They were up 68-49 by the end of the third quarter and continued at the same tempo in the final frame to cruise to the final 102-69 victory.
BCM outscored the reigning champions 73-31 in the second half, to equal the all-time Pro A record with the 42-point differential.
Dwight Buycks led the charge with 22 points and seven assists, Julius Johnson had 21 on 6-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc and Ludovic Vaty collected 17 points and 11 rebounds.
"In the first half we played in a false rhythm, we were bad on defence, we lost seven balls," BCM head coach Christian Monschau explained.
"We returned in the second half with the intention to defend well, with more confidence also on our three-point shooting.
"I did not shake up my players at half-time, we just adjusted what was wrong."
Paris-Levallois followed suit the following day with a vital 94-82 win at Cholet.
The Parisians started very strong to lead by as many as 28 points late in the third and remained always in control until the final buzzer, although their hosts reduced the gap in the final frame.
Center Sean May picked up from where he left off before the break and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds with John Cox also scoring 16 and dishing out seven assists.
KARSIYAKA KEEP UP THE CHASE
Pinar Karsiyaka extended their winning streak in the Turkish BEKO Ligi to three games on Saturday, with a comfortable 87-66 home win against TED Ankara.
|William Thomas' good form is one of the reasons for Pinar Karsiyaka's good run in all competitions |
The hosts led from start to finish thanks in great part to a solid display by big man William Thomas, who picked up a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Robert Dixon finished with 16 points and four assists while Abdul Aminu had 15 points and five rebounds.
While Karsiyaka remain just one win behind the league leaders with a 13-2 record, the other Turkish side that participates in the EuroChallenge suffered a home defeat to a direct competitor for a play-off spot on the weekend.
Tofas Bursa wasted an 11-point half-time advantage over Erdemir and allowed their guests to tie the scores at the buzzer and take the game into overtime.
Erdemir outscored the hosts 17-13 in the extra period to win 93-89.
Point guard Steven Burtt finished with 26 points and five assists while Austin Nichols had 15 points in defeat.
BONN BOUNCE BACK
Telekom Baskets Bonn bounced back from their midweek defeat at BBC Bayreuth with a 74-64 win at home over New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig on Saturday.
A solid defensive effort in the second quarter allowed Bonn to take a 11-point lead at the half-time interval and they did just enough in the second half to maintain the advantage more or less unaltered until the end.
Kyle Weems went 8-for-11 from the floor to lead the scoring with 19 points and added six assists.
Point guard Jared Jordan had 16 points and five rebounds while Benas Veikalas was only 3-for-1o from three-point range but still contributed 15 points.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg meanwhile were defeated in a potentially key encounter between sides that compete for a top-four finish.
Oldenburg shot 48 percent from the floor and missed ten free throws in a back-and-fourth game against ratiopharm Ulm at home, and lost 95-91.
Chris Kramer led all scorers with 21 points and added eight rebounds and Rickey Paulding had 16 points in defeat.