Cory Higgins fuels late surge lifting Barcelona

2023-01-11T22:05:39+00:00 2023-01-12T12:50:27+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

11/Jan/23 22:05

Youssoupha Fall becomes a problem but FC Barcelona gets revenge in Astroballe

By Eurohoops Team/

Dominating the bottom end of the fourth quarter, FC Barcelona edged out undermanned LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, 82-75, Wednesday.

Cory Higgins delivered half of 16 points in the fourth quarter of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 18 contest.

The experienced swingman scoring eight straight points turned a one-point deficit into a five-point lead with 45 seconds on the clock. Apart from connecting 5/6 two-pointers and all of his six free throws, he put in four assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

Logging a team-high 19 points, Nikola Mirotic was the driving force in offense but praised the team’s effort in defense. “It’s always tough against this opponent. We know how they play. We had some ups and downs but tried to stay consistent, especially defensively,” he mentioned, “So, it was a good win.” His showing also included four rebounds and three blocks.

Rokas Jokubaitis chipped in 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Logging 11 of his 14 points in the second quarter and tucking in a game-high four three-pointers, Alex Abrines shaped yet another double-digit scoring effort in Astroballe.

“We found Abrines in the first half and Higgins in the end,” noted head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, “In general, it was not the best game for us. I thought we lacked ambition, a lot of things. Here it’s not easy. ASVEL is always fighting and creating problems.”

The reverse fixture’s hero Nando De Colo (rest) was ruled out for the top half of the double-game week. David Lighty (calf) and Alex Tyus (personal) were out as well alongside long-term injured Joffrey Lauvergne (knee). Coming up next is Valencia visiting Villeurbanne Friday.

“These games are often difficult. When they are missing a lot of players, the rest of the team is always going to step up. And they did that,” commented Higgins, “We didn’t play as well as we wanted to.”

Behind 9/12 shots, Youssoupha Fall led the charge for the hosts with 23 points, a new personal best in EuroLeague. Jonah Mathews followed with 17 points, also a new career-high in the top-tier club continental competition in Europe.

“I am really proud of the guys. They gave it all out there,” was the reaction of T.J. Parker after his side was forced down to 6-12 with a fourth loss in a row, “We were up by four near the end. After that, they found solutions.”

Barca improving the league-leading record to 12-6 missed Tomas Satoransky (ankle). The Czech guard stayed on the injury list accompanied by Sergi Martinez (knee). Back home as the reigning back-to-back EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes plays at Palau Blaugrana Friday.

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