By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Isaiah Canaan scored a EuroLeague season-high 20 points on 6-9 triples and grabbed five rebounds as Olympiacos Piraeus beat Fenerbahce Beko 93 – 73 in Istanbul to sweep the Turkish side in the regular season.
Olympiacos took its first away win over Fenerbahce in five years. The Reds led even up by 30 and held a difference beyond 20 points for the larger part of the game despite the absence of star guard Kostas Sloukas and forward Alec Peters.
“It was a team effort tonight,” Canaan said. “My teammates did a great job of finding me when I had open looks, and glad to see a go-through tonight. I am just trying to do whatever the team needs to help us win. Like I said, it was a team victory tonight.
Six Olympiacos players scored in double figures. Kostas Papanikolaou contributed a season-high performance of his own with 21 points and Thomas Walkup added 12 points, seven assists plus five rebounds while hitting an important triple when Fener cut its deficit to 13 with five minutes to play after a 12-0 run.
The visiting side scored seven more unanswered points to push back their opponents for good and grab the victory that puts them at a league-best 15-7.
Marko Guduric had 24 points for Fener, dropping 21 by the end of the third quarter. Melih Mahmutoglu scored 14 and made two consecutive triples as his team transformed a 54 – 79 deficit into 66-79. That was the closest the hosts approached though.
“I really appreciate this win in this environment; it is always difficult,” Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas said. “How we entered the game in the first quarter was a statement, how we wanted to play in this game: being patient, finding open looks, shooting with confidence, grabbing rebounds and playing hard defense as we always do.”
Canaan produced nine of his points in the first period where Olympiacos went off to a 10 – 24 start. Apart from his shooting, the American guard also put on immense pressure on Scottie Wilbekin to eliminate him from the offensive equation of Fener. Wilbekin was ejected with a second technical foul with four minutes remaining for halftime as Olympiacos took a 16 – 46 advantage.
After a couple of intense minutes due to Fener protesting several calls, the hosts cut their deficit a bit, 30 – 51 at halftime. After the break, Canaan was lit once more with 11 points and some tough buckets in the third period that kept his team’s lead beyond 20+. He overall led a shooting spectacle of 17-29 triples for Olympiacos.
“On the road a team that hits 17 3-pointers on 60 percent? Come on,” Fener coach Dimitris Itoudis said. Hi team is now 13-8. “That’s one of the reasons, not the only one, they are leading this league. They are defending well, they have size, they have experience.”
“We were trying to really defend but they were better,” Itoudis admitted. “Obviously, we have a lot of miles to reach that level, but the players tried, we tried hard. We wanted to be competitive but they were hitting shots and we were not hitting shots, especially in the beginning. We have to congratulate them.”