Okay, so BallinEurope wouldn’t go that far; after all, we’re talking about a player of retired-jersey status here. Regardless, Beşiktaş Milangaz began the post-Deron Williams Era with a 77-75 win at Armia in FIBA Eurochallenge play, thanks to a David Hawkins jumper in the waning seconds…
Official FIBA writeup follows.
(FIBA Europe) – Beşiktaş Milangaz completed a two-game sweep of Armia on Tuesday to clinch first place in EuroChallenge Group B, as David Hawkins hit a jump shot one second before the end to lift Beşiktaş to a 77-75 win in Tbilisi.
Armia were able to get the ball to recent signing Matthew Freije before time expired but his three-pointer was off target.
Jeremy Richardson nearly lifted Armia to victory. After Hawkins’ two free throws with 1:16 remaining, Richardson caught a pass from new Armia guard Ben Woodside and drilled a jump shot to knot the game at 73-73.
Hawkins dunked with 40 seconds to go to put the visitors back in front, only for Richardson, after an Armia timeout, to reply with a jumper. Beşiktaş ran the clock down to 10 seconds and then called a timeout. When play resumed, Hawkins got the ball in his hands and hit the game-winning shot.
Beşiktaş outscored Armia 27-19 in the last quarter.
The EuroChallenge Player of the Week in the last round, Erwin Dudley (a.k.a. Ersin Dagli), will contend for that honor again as he had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Beşiktaş. Hawkins finished with 17 points and Serhat Cetin contributed 16.
Zoran Erceg also had a strong game with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists for Beşiktaş; his biggest shot came with 1:45 to go, a three-ball that tied the contest at 71-71.
Joakim Kjellbom scored 17 points and corralled 13 rebounds for Armia, and Will Thomas had 15 points and eight boards. Richardson also had 15 points and Woodside 13, along with seven assists.
With the win, the Turkish club improved to 5-0 and Armia fell to 3-2. Should ZZ Leiden prevail in their game against BG Göttingen Wednesday, the Dutch side will host a decisive clash with Armia next week to determine the second-place team in Group B. Armia won their encounter on November 22, 74-71, so Leiden would be aiming for a win of four points or more to claim the second spot.