Fournier Scores 13 Points as French Reach Round of 16
Thursday brought the fifth and final game day of Group A for Orlando Magic wing Evan Fournier and his French national team. The EuroBasket champs took on Iran who are the FIBA Asia winners. It would be tough early and often, but France would eventually prevail over Iran 81-76 to clinch progression to the Round of 16 knockout stage. Fournier played eighteen minutes and finished with 13 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist on 3-for-5 three-point shooting and 4-of-6 at the charity stripe in what was Evan’s best performance in Spain so far.
Fournier initially checked into the contest at the 2:23 mark of the first quarter with Iran actually leading 19-11. Coach Vincent Collet was desperate for someone to step up and Evan received an early opportunity. Evan’s first shot was an NBA 3-pointer that he drained at the 8:20 mark in the 2nd period. Fournier at SG was a better distributor and defender than the struggling Thomas Heurtel.
At the 7-minute mark, Evan would aggressively drive from the top of the perimeter and try to throw down an explosive 2-hand jam. He got fouled, and made both free throws. The 21-year-old would atone for a bad turnover by immediately nailing another 3-pointer at the 6-minute mark. Evan’s high confidence was evident. Evan followed that up with more made free throws before missing a wide open corner left 3-pointer. Evan sat the 3:41 mark having played just over eight minutes. At halftime, France led 37-33 thanks to some clutch late shots by Mickael Gelabale. Fournier led French scorers with 10 points at the break on 2-for-3 shooting (all 3s) and 4-of-4 on free throws.
— Adam Papageorgiou (@adamosgp) September 4, 2014
In the second half, Evan checked in early at the 8:25 mark of the third period with France up 42-33. Evan’s first shot of the half was a right corner 3-pointer that he drilled. Evan at the 5-minute mark would miss another left corner 3-point attempt as he was hitting from everywhere but that spot. Fournier had to play a lot of post-up defense and help on Iran bigs such as Hamed Haddadi. Because of that, Evan picked up his fourth personal foul (five and you foul out) at the 2:14 mark of the third period. Evan would sit, but France were up 57-44 at this point as Fournier played a huge role in getting the French that cushion. Evan would check back in late in the fourth for a brief stint that didn’t amount to much.
France finishes the Group A stage 3-2. At this time it’s unknown whether they finished in 3rd or 4th place in the group. Friday brings a day off before Round of 16 action begins. It is unknown who and when the French play in the knockout stage. Be on the lookout for an MBO preview.
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