| Ukrainian champions Azovmash Mariupol revived their chances for survival in the Eurocup by grabbing a first Group A victory, 90-82 over visiting Banca Tercas Teramo on Tuesday in Mariupol. Azovmash now has a 1-3 record, while Teramo is 2-2, but with two games remaining in the regular season, both remain alive in the hunt for a berth in the Last 16. An 11-1 run by the hosts that bridged the last two quarters and included 6 points by Hasan Rizvic gave the decisive margin to Azovmash. Rizvic had a near perfect game, playing all 40 minutes and scoring 24 points while making 11 of 12 two-pointers and both his free throws. He added 11 rebounds for a double-double and 5 blocked shots. Fred House nailed 19 points, Erik Daniels scored 15 with 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Rolandas Jarutis had 15 for the winners, who also got 9 assists from Maureece Rice. It took all that to turn back Teramo as Drake Diener led all scorers with 29 points and doubled up with 10 rebounds. Teramo also got 21 points from Virgil Stanescu, but the visitors suffered from getting 7 shots blocked by Azovmash.
Teramo started in style as Bobby Jones slammed for a quick 0-4 lead for the visitors. It wasn't long, however, before Azovmash answered with a 14-4 run capped from the foul line by Oleksandr Skutyelnik to lead 14-8 after 5 minutes. After Jesse Young assisted by Ryan Hoover to get Teramo within 17-15, Rizivc pushed the hosts ahead 21-17 with consecutive dunks, although Tommaso Marino's layup kept Teramo as close as 21-19 after 10 minutes. Drake tied the score 23-23 early in the second quarter, and while Azovmash kept ahead by slim margins, Teramo followed big man Stanescu to remain on the hosts' heels 33-32 midway through the quarter. Teramo's shooters then warmed up their hands to score 4 three-pointers - Diener twice, joined by Peppe Poeta and Valerio Amoroso - as the visitors seized a 38-41 lead. Rizvic and Rolandas Jarutis organized the response for the Ukrainian champs, but it was Daniels from beyond the arc who gave the hosts back a 47-43 cushion at halftime.
Jarutis and House helped the home team maintain slim advantages after the break, but on the opposite side an unstoppable Stanescu under the boards and Diener from three-point land helped Teramo to stay within 61-60 midway through the third quarter. Amoroso then tied it again, 63-63, before Diener and Jarutis traded leads. Finally, Rice assisted Rizvic on a short jumper that gave a 69-66 advantage to Azovmash at the end of 30 minutes. Azovmash's run continued into the fourth quarter and Rizvic capped it at 11-1 with a basket in in the paint to make it 76-67. Rice soon scored twice, to give the hosts' both their first double-digit margin, with 4 minutes remaining, and the highest difference of the night, 82-69. Teramo did not give up, however, as Diener and Amoroso found easy points in the open court, but were answered again by Rizvic who converted an assist by House sealed to seal the home team's first victory in Group A.
Monday, December 14, 2009