TV Game Preview: Besiktas vs. Artland

14.03.2012

EUROCHALLENGE

EuroChallenge game of the week 15/03
Click here to watch Besiktas Milangaz vs. Artland Dragons LIVE and for free on FIBA Europe TV. Broadcast starts Thursday at 17:50 CET

The Artland Dragons haven't given up on their bid to reach the EuroChallenge Final Four but they will be without key man Nathan Peavy for Game 2 on Thursday in Istanbul.

The Puerto Rico international has returned home to the United States following a death in the family and that means Artland will be without a leader in the team who has averaged 13.8 points per game in the competition.

The 2.03m forward poured in 12 on Tuesday when Besiktas claimed a 74-73 Game 1 victory.

His absence places even more importance on Anthony King.

The 2.06m center was very good in the opener with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

King is travelling to Turkey with the intention of forcing a deciding third game in Germany.

"Now we have to go to Istanbul and get a win," he said.

Besiktas were able to do a lot of their damage at the free-throw line in Game 1, making 18 of 25 attempts from the stripe.

Artland committed 25 fouls to while Besiktas were called for 12.

"It's hard to win a game when you get twice as many fouls as the opponent," Dragons coach Stefan Koch said.

Koch admitted, however, that Artland had not played well enough to win.

 

SEASON SO FAR

• Besiktas had an inauspicious start to the season with a Eurocup Qualifying Round tie defeat to Dexia Mons-Hainaut but have rebounded to win 11 and lose just twice in the EuroChallenge. Besiktas won the Turkish Cup.
• Artland Dragons also had a disappointing start with a Eurocup Qualifying Round tie defeat to Gran Canaria but they have moved from strength to strength in the EuroChallenge, and Germany. In the EuroChallenge, Stefan Koch's team has won nine games and lost three. They are 18-8 and in fourth place in Germany's BEKO BBL.

THE HOT HAND

Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been pouring in the points and grabbing the rebounds for Besiktas. The Great Britain international had 22 points and 10 boards on Tuesday night and is averaging 17.5 and 10 on the season. He had 29- and 24-point outings in his previous two EuroChallenge games, while in Turkey over the weekend, he scored 25 and corralled 10 rebounds in a victory over Aliaga Petkim.
Anthony Hilliard made six of his 11 shots from the field and scored 13 points against Besiktas. The 25-year-old Artland star had 15 points in the previous game against Triumph Lyubertsy and now, more than ever, needs to come up big for the Dragons to have a chance.

THE X-FACTOR

Zoran Erceg poured in a season-high 24 points for Besiktas on Tuesday and that was a big boost for a team looking for some offense.
• With Nathan Peavy out, the 29-year-old forward Guido Grünheid becomes a more important player for Artland as they attempt to cope with the big front line of Besiktas.

KEY MATCH-UP: David Holston vs. Carlos Arroyo

• In a battle of playmakers, Holston had seven assists but was well below par in the scoring department. He made just two of his 13 shots from the floor and was one of seven from the arc.
• Arroyo made only four of his 15 shots from the field had just three assists with three turnovers, but did draw the big foul at the end of the game from Bryan Bailey while he was attempting a three-pointer. Arroyo sank the first and missed the next two, but that was enough to see his team to victory. He finished with 15 points.


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