Jared Harper comes up clutch as Valencia beats Partizan

2022-12-01T23:13:47+00:00 2022-12-02T10:45:11+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

01/Dec/22 23:13

Eurohoops.net

In a thrilling game in Belgrade, Valencia made the plays that mattered in overtime.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Jared Harper had five points with one minute to play in regulation and finished with 14 after overtime to lead Valencia to a 96 – 100 away win over Partizan Belgrade in the first-ever EuroLeague battle between the two clubs. This is the third road victory of the Spanish side this season after winning also at Anadolu Efes and Olympiacos Piraeus.

Jasiel Rivero led Valencia overall with a career-high 22 points plus six rebounds. Mathias Lessort scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Partizan that lost for a third straight match.

“We didn’t give up,” Valencia big man James Webb III said after finishing with career-highs 18 points plus nine rebounds. “We just fought until the end, played every possession hard. They’re a tough team, so shout out to them. We just stuck to our game plan until the last minute of overtime. Credit to our coach [Alex Mumbru], getting our confidence back. We needed this win.”

Harper made the layup against Lessort’s defense for the 93 – 98 with 47 seconds to left in overtime and then James Nunnally hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring Partizan at a shooting distance again. When Valencia initiated its offense, Webb tried to find Bojan Dubljevic inside the paint but his pass was too strong and the ball bounced off the glass to Nunnally.

Xabi Lopez-Arostegui poked the ball off Nunnally’s hands and Dubljevic dived to claim it and pass it to Harper. Kevin Punter was forced to commit the foul on Valencia’s guard who made both of his free throws to seal his team’s win.

“I’m happy for the players, because we had this incredible atmosphere and we were ready to play until the end,” Valencia coach Alex Mumbru said.

Punter had scored nine out of his 19 points in the last two minutes of the fourth period and he could’ve had 10 if he didn’t go 2-3 from the line with the score 80 – 82 and 43 seconds left. He lifted Partizan from a 75 – 79 deficit and handed them an 80 – 79 lead only for Harper to drain the triple for the 80 – 82. After Harper nailed a tough floater to make it 82 – 84, Punter hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 84 before Chris Jones missed the winning attempt from downtown.

“If you lost in overtime, it means it was a tough game for both sides,” Partizan coach Zeljko Obradovic said. “They were more concentrated, and because of this they won the game.”

Partizan led 49 – 40 at the beginning of the second half but Valencia came back to go up 66 – 67 early in the fourth quarter. The match remained close up until the very last moments of overtime.

Lopez-Arostegui contributed 17 points to Valencia’s win. Nunnally dropped 15 points, Yam Madar had 13 points and Zach LeDay 12 for Partizan.