Game Notes: Pinar Karsiyaka at Besiktas
Iverson scores 20 against out-manned Pinar Karsiyaka.
by Yusuf Atahan Erim
ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Sunday night marked the return of Allen Iverson to the court after a leg injury sidelined the Answer for five games. Despite being a little rusty early on, Iverson warmed up to score 20 points in 24 minutes, knocking down two three pointers on three attempts, as his Besiktas squad eased its way past Pinar Karsiyaka, 89-65.
The visitors were greatly outmanned as they rested all five starters after their dramatic game in Cyprus last Wednesday, in which the team was attacked by hostile Cypriot fans.
Both sides opened the game exchanging baskets, with the score 9-9 after the first four minutes of play. But Besiktas began to pull away, taking advantage of the size mismatch down low as AJ Ogilvy was a dominate force in the paint. Iverson also joined in, slicing toward the hoop with an artistic layup pushing the lead to 9 at 18-11 with three minutes left in the first.
Pinar Karsiyaka tried to keep it close with a fine shooting performance by Onur Kentli, but the Ogilvy struck again with a thunderous dunk by the Aussie big-man, closing the first with Besiktas up 22-15.
The second quarter saw more rim-rattling domination by Ogilvy, as he was just too much to handle for the smaller Pinar Karsiyaka centers, who could only see the back of his No. 44 jersey on his way back down from the several dunks. Iverson also seemed to gain more confidence, repeatedly asking for the ball and taking a more vocal role in the offense. The Answer knocked down two consecutive three-balls and was very effective penetrating to the hoop as Besiktas began to pour it on, heading into halftime up 52-37.
The home team kept their momentum going early in the third, with buckets from Ogilvy and forward Cevher Ozer in the paint building their lead to 20 at 60-40. Coach Biyiktay, with the lead comfortably in hand, gave Iverson and Ogilvy the rest of the night off. The duo led the team in scoring with 20 points each.
In their absence, Pinar Karsiyaka was able to shave Besktas’ lead to 17 at 70-53 with two minutes left in the third on some fine outside shooting by Onur Kentli and Guray Dalaman. But point guard Mire Chatman stepped in before the visitors could get any closer, going hard to the hoop for a pair, ending the third with the Black Eagles up, 72-58.
With the big men on the sidelines, Besiktas looked to their outside game in the fourth to end all hopes of a comeback for Pinar Karsiyaka. Chatman, youngster Murat Kutlu and Ozer were accurate from behind the arc, as Besiktas extended their lead to a game-high 24 points at 82-58, with five minutes left in regulation. Coach Biyiktay gave some of the younger, inexperienced players the final minutes of play as both side traded hoops, ending the game at 89-65.
Besiktas improved its 7-3 record and moved into sixth place and are only three games off league leaders Fenerbahce. Pinar Karsiyaka drops to eighth place after the loss with a record of 6-5.