On-fire Rich delivers for Avellino, picks up Top Performer honors
AVELLINO (FIBA Europe Cup) - Sidigas Scandone Avellino scoring ace Jason Rich turned in an exquisite performance on the first leg of the Semi-Finals to claim the Top Performer honors.
The 31-year-old shooting guard knocked down five triples and splashed in a game-high 28 points to lead the Italian side to a 75-72 victory against Bakken Bears with an efficient 10-of-19 shooting display from the field.
He also added 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple of steals en route to an overall efficiency score of 30, the best mark among all players in the Semi-Finals.
Although the Avellino side started the tie with a win, Bakken Bears will be quite pleased to have made it close down the stretch after trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half.
In large part, the comeback was made possible by the duo of Michel Diouf and Adama Darboe shouldering the load with DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Jeffrey Crockett both caught on an off-night.
Diouf was unstoppable on the offensive end, posting a season-high 26 points and grabbing 4 rebounds, while Darboe needed less than 20 minutes to get to 11 points and 7 assists without a single turnover.
His three-pointer just before time ran out in the fourth quarter extended the margin between the teams to double figures before the second leg in the Netherlands.
Donar forward Bradford Burgess was the only player to post a double-double in the Semi-Finals scoring all of his 14 points in the first half, while adding 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in a losing effort in Venice.