Despite a nice finish, Allen Iverson and Beşiktaş Cola Turka couldn’t quite overcome TBL-leading Galatasaray Café Crown in Istanbul yesterday, 73-71.
Iverson himself was good for 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in nearly 37 minutes of court time, but his woes in the game were emblematic of the team’s: Iverson shot just 3-of-10 overall and turned the ball over six times.
Playing one sloppy first quarter, Beşiktaş entered the second down by an NFL-like score of 14-9 and the team simply could not dig itself out of the hole. The Eagles as a whole were just 23-of-61 (37.8%) in overall shooting and 7-of-23 (30.4%) on threes; meanwhile, Beşiktaş’ chaotic opening 10 minutes set the tone for its ball-handling inability, “outdoing” Galatasaray 18-11 in the statistic.
The Galatasaray lead peaked in the third quarter when taking a 51-35 lead when Ermal Kurtoglu slammed home two of his game-high 22 points, and Beşiktaş finally heated up. At 60-45, the trio of A.I., Team Australia’s A.J. Ogilvy (who produced another double-double with an 18 ‘n’ 12), and Mustafa Abi combined for an unanswered 13-point run to tighten things up at 60-58. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the team would never get the lead, though Mr. Answer did what he could.
With seven seconds left, Beşiktaş got the ball inbounds from the far end of the court and A.I. ran it up, driving right through the lane as he had earlier in the period to beat a four-on-one situation in the lane. Iverson then fed Michael Ignerski for the jam with a second to play … but the big man bounced it off the rim instead. (See video below for some Iverson highlights and Beşiktaş’ sad ending.)
Michael Ignerski had 20 points and seven rebounds for Beşiktaş; point guard Mire Chatman did not play.
On the TBL table, Beşiktaş (7-5) managed to hold onto sixth place with the loss but are now tied with Pınar Karşıyaka, the team Beşiktaş torched on December 26. Galatasaray (11-2) is tied at the top with Banvit.
Beşiktaş’ next game sees the Eagles travelling to play Euroleague squad Efes Pilsen on Saturday, January 5, at 4pm CET (10am EST).