Lappeenranta Advance Despite Loss

27 November 2007

Lappeenranta rained down 14 three-pointers in advancing to the EuroCup Qualifying Round despite a 95-86 loss at Keravnos Nicosia.

Finnish international Petri Virtanen and Ivan Harris combined for 43 points and 10 three-pointers as the Finns made their 16-point home win stand up for a 173-164 aggregate victory in the second elimination round.

Adrian Terrell Henning and Reinar Hallik each added 12 points for Mika Turunen's team, who made 14-of-31 (45%) from downtown.

Keravnos' Aleksandar Radojevic had 26 points and nine rebounds, Bryant Smith collected 22 points and nine rebounds while Panagiotis Trisokkas added 15 and 11 in the victory, but the Cypriots only made 1-of-16 three-pointers.

Nicosia came out looking to score as they had the 16-point deficit to make up and grabbed a 12-6 lead early.

But Pasi Riihela and Harris knocked down back-to-back three-pointers - Lappeenranta's fourth and fifth treys of the night - to pull ahead 17-13.

Yet another long ball, this one by Virtanen, gave the Finns a 22-18 lead after one period.

Harris and Hallik hit from long range to retain a 32-27 cushion before Radojevic converted a three-point play and Aleksandar Damjanovic's lay-up gave the Cypriots a 38-36 lead.

Virtanen answered right back with another long ball and Turunen's Lappeenranta led 44-42 at the break.

Keravnos went ahead 47-45 on Patrick Lee's jumper but Henning dunked and Harris hit from downtown to regain the lead and Virtanen matched Harris from long range to push the gap to 55-51 and hit again for 58-55.

Smith's jumper gave the Cypriots a 68-62 lead but it was Hallik's turn as he hit from downtown and then converted a three-point play to close within 72-68 after three periods.

Keravnos started the fourth on an 8-2 run to open a 10-point lead 80-70 only to see Virtanen and Harris score lay-ups to bring it back down to six.

The Cypriots' bulge was back up to 10 at 86-76 before Virtanen hit from downtown again and his free throw cut the lead to 86-80 with less than two minutes remaining.

Panayiotis Yiannis pushed the lead back to nine points - 90-81 - but Keravnos could not hit their three-pointers as they tried to get to that crucial 16-point mark.

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