Maccabi Electra routed Belgacom Spirou 69-86
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv soundly defeated Belgacom Spirou on the road Thursday night 69-86 at the SpirouDome in Charleroi, Belgium led by Keith Langford’s season-high 20 points. Maccabi enters the Top 16 Draw as a No. 2 seed after finishing Group B with a 7-3 record, while Spirou, which was already eliminated, closed the season at 2-8. The hosts, looking for a morale-building finale before their home fans, stayed close until the third quarter when Maccabi took off on a 15-point surge that put the game out of reach. David Blu contributed 13 points and 3 steals for the winners, Guy Pninin put in 11 points and Devin Smith and Theodoros Papaloukas added 9 apiece. Caleb Green led the Belgian champs with 16 points, including 3 of 5 from deep, Demond Mallet netted 13 and Chris Hill added 10.
Sofoklis Schortsanitis staked Maccabi Electra to a 2-8 lead, scoring twice in the paint. The host’s Green nailed a triple, then Blu and Christophe Beghin exchanged baskets to push the score to 7-10. Maccabi hit a pair of two-pointers, but Spirou’s Justin Hamilton banged in two triples and Andre Riddick slammed home an offensive put-back to tie the game at 15-15. Langford took over in the final two minutes, knocking down 7 straight points, including a three-pointer, to lift the visitors to a 16-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Neither team had trouble scoring to start the second quarter as Papaloukas scored twice in the lane, then Smith dunked, but Beghin and Hill helped Spirou keep pace, 25-31. After Mallet buried his first three-pointer, Papaloukas scored down low and Langford streaked through the lane for a layup as Maccabi reasserted control, 28-35. The hosts kept hustling, however, as Riddick and Green both scored in the paint, then Pnini anwered with a triple to set the score at 32-38. Two free throws by Green ended scoring for the quarter as Maccabi took a 34-38 lead into halftime.
Blu and Langford led Maccabi on a 15 point burst as Maccabi took over the game early in the third quarter with a 35-53 lead. Riddick and Amaury Jadin got Spirou on the board, buts Richard Hendrix stepped up for the visitors, as the lead edged up to 41-61. After Hill and Jiri Welsch delivered triples for the hosts, but Tal Burstein answered from downtown and Papaloukas banged in a layup as Maccabi maintained its lead to end the quarter, 49-68.
Jadin and Langford swapped baskets, then Blu hit a two-point jumper and Hendrix dunked as Maccabi stretched the lead to 51-74. Green and Mallet knocked down consecutive triples, slicing the margin to 57-74. Pnini scored 5 straight, then Mallet drained a three-pointer to the push the score to 62-81. In the final minutes, the teams exchanged baskets, the last one a two-point jumper at the buzzer by Welsch, as Maccabi coasted to a comfortable 69-86 victory.
Thursday, December 22, 2011