Pullen, Sutton Stellar in All-Stars' Win
BRATASLAVA, SLOVAKIA - Kansas State duo Jacob Pullen and Dominique Sutton combined for 41 points to help the East Coast All-Stars remain undefeated during their tour of eastern Europe with a 100-95 win over AB Cosmetics Pezinok on Saturday afternoon.
The All-Stars' top two leading scorers, Pullen and Sutton led four players in double figures with 22 and 19 points, respectively. West Virginia sophomore guard Truck Bryant tossed in 15 points, while Rutgers sophomore guard Corey Chandler collected 13 points. Pullen, who is averaging 19.7 points on the tour, added a team-high four assists, two rebounds and a steal. Sutton, who is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds, tied for the team lead with four steals to go with five rebounds and an assist.
In the tightest contest to date for the All-Stars, the game came down to a spectacular play by Connecticut College forward Chris Kehoe. Clinging to a 98-95 lead, Kehoe came out of nowhere to block the shot of Pezinok's Niko Milosevic before advancing the ball to Chandler for a finish at the rim to seal the thrilling win.
"Big time players are expected to make big-time plays," said head coach Guy Rancourt. "And they certainly did not let us down tonight. Having solid players around them like Chris Kehoe and Arjun Ohri make us a tough team to defend against."
A strong Pezinok team fought hard throughout the contest, and the end of the first quarter had the All-Stars leading 26-23. The teams continued to battle back and forth in the second period, as the team stretched their lead to 50-46. Pezinok's veteran big man, Alec Lukjanec, came out in the second half with a purpose, knocking down 3-pointers and getting to the foul line, and leading his squad to their first lead at the end of the third period, 74-73.
The final 10 minutes were highlighted by the solid guard play of Pullen, Bryant and Chandler. A deep three-point field goal by Bryant gave the All-Stars a one-point lead with 50 seconds left. The team was able to get a defensive stop in its next possession, but a Chandler turnover set-up a fast break for Pezinok to take the lead, and an opportunity for Kehoe to be the hero by blocking the shot attempt.
The East Coast All-Stars continue their tour on Sunday as they face another Slovakian Top Division opponent in AB Basket Levice at 9 am CT.
For more information on the East Coast All-Stars, visit www.guyrancourt.com.