Pau-Orthez was the protagonist of an upset on Wednesday night as it defeated Fenerbahce Ulker 66-68
Pau-Orthez was the protagonist of an upset on Wednesday night as it defeated Fenerbahce Ulker on the road in Istanbul by 66-68 in Group C. Pau lifted its record to 1-1 while Fenerbahce still looks for its first victory after two tries. The game was close throughout all 40 minutes and Ibrahim Kutluay even got the hosts within a point with the last of his 4 three-pointers landing with 6.7 seconds left. But a last free throw by Aaron Miles was enough to secur Pau's first win this season. Michael Wright led Pau back from consistent first-half deficits and finished with 22 points. Clint Harrison added 13 while Britton Johnsen and Ricardo Greer posted 9 apiece. Kutluay was Fenerbahce's best scorer again with 19 points, Will Solomon chipped in 13 and Kaspars Kambala added 12 for the hosts.
Both teams missed a lot of chances to score in the opening minutes of the game, but went back and forth on the scoreboard until Britton Johnsen's three-pointer made it 11-11 midway through the quarter. Fenerbahce soon took control thanks to Kutluay, however. Having already buried a three-pointer, the veteran Fenerbahce scored another among 5 points in a single minute that put the hosts up by 16-13. Pau struggled to defend Kambala now, but Wright and Greer kept the visitors within striking distance for awhile. Kambala hammered in a layup and made the free throw that came with it for a 21-15 score and Fenerbahce's biggest lead yet. He and Damir Mrsic would make 1 of 2 free throws each to extend the difference by the end of the quarter to 23-15.
A spectacular dunk by Ira Clark to open the second quarter kept Fenerbahce going, but Pau now tried to stop Fenerbahce by going inside on offense and turning to a zone on defense. The idea of forcing Fenerbahce to shoot from outside worked well for the visitors, who stopped the hosts from scoring any points over 2 minutes. In the meantime, Pau added points until Johnsen's fastbreak layup got his team as back in the game at 25-21. Despite back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Omer Onan, Kutluay and Willie Solomon, Pau used the defensive mistakes of Fenerbahce, especially inside the paint, to keep breathing down the neck of the hosts. Clint Harrison with free throws and Michael Bauer with a layup got Pau closer still, but Solomon canned another three-pointer before the half ended with Fenerbahce holding a 37-33 margin.
Kambala and Kutluay for Fenerbahce traded baskets with Harrison and Aaron Miles of Pau as the four-point halftime difference was maintained early in the third quarter. Kambala added another layup to up the hosts' edge to 43-37 before Pau made its big move. While the visitors' defense closed down Fenerbahce for several possessions, Wright combined with Bauer and Miles in an 0-7 run that made for a whole new ballgame at 43-43. Clarke regained the lead for Fenerbahce, but Wright answered with 4 more points to take it back before Solomon's jumper tied it, 47-47. But Pau wasn't done and Wright wasn't alone. Ian Mahinmi got loose inside for a go-ahead layup and Johnsen finished the quarter with a dunk that put Pau ahead 47-51 after 30 minutes.
Fenerbahce fired up the home fans to start the final quarter as Clark dunked and Onan drove to the basket to tie, then Solomon drilled a three-pointer to finish a 7-0 run that put the hosts up again, 54-51. But Pau never gave up and despite huge pressure levelled the score at 54-54 on a jumper by Johnsen. Fenerbahce tried to race away again as Mrsic and Kutluay rained down a triple each, but no sooner had they fallen than Harrison put in 4 points to keep Pau close, at 60-58, halfway through the quarter. Wright took over from there, scoring his own 6 points in a row to push Pau in front, 60-64, with just over 2 minutes left. Onan's three-pointer soon restored Fenerbahce's hope at 63-64, but those were his team's last points for awhile. Pau didn't score again either until Wright was fouled and hit 1 of 2 free throws with 25 seconds left. When he missed the second, however, Greer was there to take the rebound to give another chance to Pau. Fenerbahce had to commit 3 quick fouls to get Pau to the free throw line, where Harrison hit a pair to make it 63-67. Kutluay drilled a triple to make it 66-67, but only 6.7 seconds remained, and after Aaron Miles made 1 of 2 free throws, Fenerbahce had too little time to prevent Pau from walking off with a huge 66-68 victory.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006