Nanterre roar past Usak, clinch Semi-Final ticket
NANTERRE (FIBA Europe Cup) - Spencer Butterfield fueled Nanterre 92 to a deserved 110-82 second-leg victory against Muratbey Usak Sportif in the FIBA Europe Cup Quarter-Finals, making the French side the first team to earn a place in the Semi-Finals of the competition.
After losing the first leg in Turkey, the team from Nanterre needed to win by at least four points in order to advance, but they took no chances and blasted their opponents to smithereens en route to a 28-point victory at the Palais des Sports Maurice Thorez.
In a record-breaking individual performance, Butterfield tied the competition best 39 points after breaking the FIBA Europe Cup record for most three-pointers in a game with 11 makes from beyond the arc.
Turning Point: Having come into the game with a three-point first-leg deficit, the French club couldn't have expected for a better start of the game. It took Nanterre just six minutes to get a double-digit lead in the first quarter (14-4) and the hosts never looked back, cruising the rest of the way with a comprehensive lead.
Game Hero: Spencer Butterfield might have left his consciousness in the locker room before the game, as he drained eight three-pointers already in the first half of play. He finished the game with 39 points on unbelievable 11-of-13 shooting from downtown, breaking Elan Chalon point guard John Roberson's competition record that lasted less than a week.
Stats Don't Lie: Not only did Nanterre make 19 three-pointers at an incredible 54% clip, but they also dominated other statistical categories, including the battle for boards. The hosts outrebounded Usak 40-26 and outscored the visitors by 10 points in second-chance opportunities behind a 21-point and 12-rebound showing by 21-year-old youngster Mathias Lessort.
Bottom Line: Nanterre advanced to the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Europe Cup, where they will likely face Telekom Baskets from Germany, who have a 21-point edge against Ironi Nahariya before the return leg in Israel, which will be played on Wednesday.