The returning Andrew Nicholson hit a thrilling come-from-behind three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation as Daegu KOGAS beat Seoul SK for its first win of the new season.
KOGAS defeated Seoul SK 96-94 in a tightly contested home game of the 2023-2024 regular season at Daegu Gymnasium on Monday.
After dropping the first two games of the season, KOGAS used Nicholson’s heroics to bounce back against SK.
Meanwhile, SK, which had won three straight, suffered its first back-to-back losses of the season following a 67-78 loss to the Hyundai Mobis in Ulsan on Nov. 27.
Nicholson, who officially joined the team on Nov. 27, also played for Korea Gas Corporation in the 2021-2022 season.
Nicholson, who marked his comeback with 31 points and 10 rebounds in an 83-92 loss to Changwon LG Electronics on Nov. 28, exploded for 37 points in a dramatic victory.
Trailing 93-94 with 19 seconds left in regulation, Nicholson grabbed a rebound and drained an electrifying three-pointer over Leon Williams with two seconds left in regulation.
Nicholson, who shot 5-of-5 from 3-point range, including the game-winner, was also 7-of-11 from 2-point range. He also made all eight of his free throws.
Forward Shin Seung-min chipped in with 21 points on 82 percent field goal shooting. Lee Dae-heon (12 points) also did his part under the basket.
For SK, which was without leading scorer Jamil Warney due to injury, last season’s regular season Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kim Sun-hyung exploded for 27 points and eight assists, but was brought to his knees by Nicholson’s performance.
Heo Il-young and Oh Jae-hyun also chipped in with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
The best big man in professional basketball, Oh Se-geun, who joined rival SK from Anyang Jungkwanjang after the end of last season, played 21 minutes but struggled with six points and six rebounds.
LG defeated Seoul Samsung 90-69 away from home.
After dropping three games to start the new season, LG rebounded like the team that finished second in the regular season last year. The team won its first back-to-back games after defeating Korea Gas Corporation 92-83 the day before.
Samsung, which defeated Goyang Sono 98-78 on Nov. 27, was unable to continue its momentum and suffered its second loss of the season (1 win).
The game drew attention from fans for the matchup between Samsung’s center Kofi Coburn, the biggest player in professional basketball at 210 centimeters, and LG’s big man Asem Marei.
However, LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun chose to play Dante Cunningham, who is more of a forward, instead of Maray, to exploit Coburn’s weakness of being slow on his feet.
Coburn had 15 points and 11 rebounds, but he was clumsy on screens and had little synergy with the guards.
He also struggled to defend the opponent’s two-on-two offense, allowing 20 points to Cunningham, whose strengths are mid-range shooting and penetration.
LG’s Filipino player Justin Gutang, who joined the team under the Asian quota system, also scored 19 points with his trademark momentum and penetration. Lee Jae-do added 18 points from the perimeter.
For Samsung, rookie Jo Jun-hee, a surprise selection at No. 4 overall, scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers, but the lack of domestic players was painful. 스포츠토토