Fernandez leads Andorra past Fiat
Morabanc Andorra stayed in the race to reach the EuroCup Top 16 from Group A by downing Fiat Turin 83-77 at home on Wednesday. Andorra improved to 2-5 in the standings while Fiat dropped to 3-4. Fiat beat Andorra by exactly 6 points, 92-86, in regular season Round 2. Jaime Fernandez led the winners with a EuroCup career-high 19 points. Oliver Stevic added 16, while Jaka Blazic had 12 for Andorra. Diante Garrett led Fiat with 17 points and Sasha Vujacic and Lamar Patterson each had 16 for the visitors, who had 23 turnovers and were outrebounded 34-25 in this game. Fernandez stepped up with 11 points in the final four minutes of the first half as Andorra improved its defense to get a double-digit margin, 42-31, at the break. A triple by Jelinek made it a 15-point game, but Deron Washington, Patterson and Garrett brought Fiat within 62-59 after 30 minutes. Przemek Karnowski took over early in the fourth quarter and got help from David Walker to seal the outcome, 76-66, with two minutes left. Vujacic tried to solve the tie-break advantage in Fiat's favor, but Fernandez hit free throws to give Andorra the win by 6.
Vujacic got Fiat going with a three-pointer in transition and Garrett added a layup for a 0-5 lead. Blazic rescued Andorra with a driving layup and a fast break dunk. A layup by Stevic soon gave the hosts their first lead, 6-5. Washington and Garrett fueled a 0-7 run that Vujacic capped with a jumper, but Jelinek struck from downtown and Diagne added free throws and a jump hook to put Andorra ahead, 15-14, after 10 minutes. A driving layup by Jelinek and a three-point play by Blazic boosted Andorra's lead to 21-16 early in the second quarter. Washington and Antonio Iannuzzi rescued Fiat and a layup by David Okeke caused the hosts call timeout at 23-24. Okeke scored again, but Andorra found a go-to guy in Fernandez, who had 6 points in a 10-0 run that he capped with free throws for a 35-26 score. Quinton Stephens struck from beyond the arc, but Chris Copeland and an unstoppable Fernandez made it a double-digit game, 42-31, at halftime.
Trevor Mbakwe and Garrett stepped up for Fiat after the break and a layup by Patterson gave the guests hope at 44-37. Walker took over with an alley-oop slam and Andrew Albicy struck twice from downtown to keep Andorra out of trouble, 54-41. Fiat kept going, however, as Vujacic hit free throws, Washington added a floater, Patterson scored in penetration and Garrett followed a triple with a layup to make it 59-54. Fernandez took over with a three-point play, but Garrett and Patterson brought Fiat even closer, 62-59, after 30 minutes. Przemek Karnowski rescued Andorra with a put-back slam and a jump hook early in the fourth quarter. Walker nailed a triple and Karnowski scored again, but Mbakwe and Patterson kept Fiat within 72-66 with three minutes left. Free throws by Stevic and Walker sealed the outcome, 76-66, but both teams kept fighting for point difference. Vujacic and Patterson stepped up, but free throws by Fernandez allowed Andorra to win by 6 points, which may prove critical in the long run.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017