| CSKA Moscow rejoined the race to win Group C by thrashing Maroussi BC 78-65 in the Russian capital on Wednesday. CSKA improved to 4-2, registered its third consecutive win and faces a pivotal road game against Lottomatica Roma next week. Meanwhile, Maroussi fell to 1-5 and needs to beat Union Olimpija at home next week to keep hope of making it to the Top 16. J.R. Holden led the winners with 16 points. Trajan Langdon and Viktor Khryapa each added 13 and Sasha Kaun had 12 for CSKA. Dimitris Mavroeidis had 11 points for Maroussi and Billy Keys added 10. Khryapa led a 6-0 run that allowed CSKA to get a 15-13 edge after 10 minutes. A corner three-pointer by Pat Calathes gave Maroussi its last lead, 19-20. Langdon and a dominant Kaun helped CSKA to regain the lead, 35-30, at halftime. Holden buried three triples after the break and got some help from Kaun and Ramunas Siskauskas to boost the hosts' lead to 58-42. Maroussi did not recover and only rallied once the outcome was clear, allowing CSKA to cruise to a well-deserved win.
Langdon got CSKA going with a big triple, but Keys answered from downtown for the teams’ first points. Maroussi tried to open the court with Kostas Kaimakoglou at power forward, trying to find Jared Homan against Kaun in the low post. The game was scoreless for more than three minutes until Kaimakoglou banked in a three-pointer from the top of the key. Langdon took over with a driving layup, but Jamon Lucas bettered that with a seven-meter bomb, good for a 5-9 Maroussi edge. Zoran Planinic scored in transition, but Kaimakolgou kept pacing the guests with a jump hook, causing CSKA to call timeout at 7-11. Khryapa scored down low while Siskauskas added a fast break layup to tie the score. CSKA improved its defense as Khryapa capped a 6-0 run with a jump hook. Homan matched him at the other end with a five-meter jumper, but Siskauskas fed Kaun for a big dunk that put CSKA back ahead, 15-13, after 10 minutes.
Kaun slammed it again right at the start of the second quarter, but Stevan Nadjfeji downed a three-pointer to keep Maroussi close. Holden buried his trademark stop-and-pop jumper as CSKA opted for a quick lineup with Ivan Radenovic and Andrey Vorontsevich together on court. Maroussi improved its defense and Calathes followed a free throw with a corner triple to put the guests back ahead, 19-20. CSKA kept struggling to control the game rhythm and tried twin point guards with Planinic and Holden on court. Langdon downed a three-pointer and after Mavroeidis sank free throws, Langdon struck again from downtown for a 25-22 CSKA lead. Radenovic shined with a layup-plus-foul coming off the baseline, but Nadjfeji kept the guests close at 28-24. Holden downed a triple off the dribble and Khryapa buried a tough jumper that boosted the hosts' lead to 33-24. Siskauskas once again found Kaun for another slam, but free throws by Homan and Mavroeidis as well as a fast break layup by Keys kept Maroussi within 35-30 at halftime.
Lucas fed Homan for an easy layup immediately after the break, as CSKA started to improve its ball circulation. Kaun beat the shot clock with a jump hook that Keys matched with a six-meter shot. Holden nailed a triple from the right wing and Khryapa added a seven-meter bomb for a 43-34 CSKA edge. Maroussi could not find easy options in offense, but Nadjfeji tried to change things with a driving layup. Siskauskas joined the three-point shootout to make it a double-digit game, 46-36. CSKA controlled the game tempo with physical defense, but a running three-pointer by Keys gave the guests some hope at 46-39. Holden sank another triple, igniting a 7-0 CSKA run that Siskauskas capped with a mid-range jumper. Michalis Pelekanos tried to change things with a bomb from downtown, but Kaun stayed on hot with a put-back layup and Holden added his fourth triple to break the game open, 58-42, at the end of the third quarter.
Lucas sank a five-meter jumper early in the fourth quarter, as Maroussi tried to be more aggressive in defense to work its way back in the game. Calathes added a layup in transition to bring the guests within 58-46. Vorontsevich stepped up with a three-pointer, however, while Khryapa shined with a big dunk that sealed the outcome, 62-46, with eight minutes to go. Maroussi kept trying, however, and a tip-in by Mavroeidis and an incredible three-pointer by Lucas kept the guests within 64-51. Vorontsevich struck again from downtown and Anton Ponkrashov found his first points for a 71-53 CSKA margin with six minutes left. Everything was said and done already, as CSKA confirmed its good momentum and showed that its trademark defense is as effective as ever.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009