Montepaschi Siena used a torrid fourth quarter run to defeat Virtus VidiVici 80-69 Bologna in a battle that was closer than the final score would indicate on Wednesday night. The Italian champions finished the game on a 19-5 run led by Vlado Ilievski to storm back and remain undefeated at home. Montepaschi improved to 3-2 and remain in a tie for third place in Group A. Next up for Montepaschi is a trip to Polish champion Prokom Trefl next week. Meanwhile VidiVici drpped its fourth in a row and fell to 1-4 in the standings, sharing last place with Prokom. Up next for the team is a home contest against Union Olimpija. Ksistof Lavrinovic led Montepaschi with 24 points in 24 minutes – including an impressive 4-for-6 three-point shooting display. Terrell McIntyre also shined with 15 points and 6 assists, including a 6-point attack off an unsportsmanlike foul in the final minute that sealed the game. Rimantas Kaukenas added 14 points and fourth-quarter hero Ilievski had 13. Delonte Holland led VidiVici with 18 points, Dewarick Spencer had 17 and Will Conroy 11 in defeat.
Kaukenas broke the ice with the game's first two baskets before Roberto Chiacig got VidiVici on the board with a basket on the offensive glass. The Bologna big man then tied the game from the line as Montepaschi got cold from outside. Spencer took an early seat after committing his second foul, resulting newcomer Donnie McGrath making his Euroleague debut. McIntyre pulled up for a triple to make it 8-4, but Holland quickly matched him. The game had a nice flow to it, but the same could not be said for their shooting. Holland finally netted a jumper to give the visitors a narrow lead. Luca Garri came in and soon drew a foul from Lavrinovic, which resulted in a free throw, but Lavrinovic drained a three to restore the hosts' lead. McGrath slashed for a score, but Lavrinovic answered from the line. The Montepaschi big man would add another triple before the period ended with the hosts ahead 16-12.
Alan Anderson got Bologna going in the second period before Bootsy Thornton hit for Siena. McGrath looked sharp with a triple only to see Kaukenas cut the VidiVici defense for a nice layup. Lavrinovic impressed with a twisting layup only to see Spencer's tripe make it 24-23. The tide of the game started to turn as triples from Ilievski and McIntyre combined with a big block by Ben Eze on the other end put Montepaschi up 9. VidiVici kept coming back with Holland hitting from outside and Guilherme Giovannoni working inside. However another Ilievski triple made it 37-29. Conroy scored on a nifty left-handed drive, but Marco Carraretto's three kept Montepaschi in control, 40-33, at halftime.
Conroy showed signs of life for VidiVici, but after Garri failed to convert inside, McIntyre came back with a three. Conroy refused to let his team fall apart and stepped up with a three-pointer and a floater to make it 45-41. Anderson cut into the deficit and then tied it with free throws on successive plays. Thornton stopped the Siena drought with a triple, but Spencer answered him in suit. Garri put Bologna ahead from the line to step up the visitors' challenge. Lavrinovic's free throws were matched by Spencer, and then Anderson hit from downtown and then Spencer made a free throws and a basket in transition to stretch the Bologna lead to 7. Lavrinovic came through with a clutch three to get the hosts within 53-57 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ilievski took control at the start of the fourth quarter, but a Spencer three-point play off the inbounds pass kept the visitors in front. Lavrinovic drew Giovannoni's fourth foul and hit the resulting free throws. Kaukenas then added a bucket in transition and when Ilievski drpped a three-point bomb, the score was tied at 64-64. Ilievski then restored the home side's lead with a basket-plus-foul as VidiVici had cooled down offensively. However mistakes set in for Montepaschi with a pair of turnovers, while Spencer tied the game with an off-balance triple. Holland then slammed home Garri's miss to put Bologna ahead, but Lavrinovic drained one from downtown as the excitement continued. McIntyre tried to add the lead from beyond the arc and even though he missed, a clutch offensive rebound allowed him to set Lavrinovic up inside for a 3-point lead and less than to minutes remaining. Bologna lost its cool and a missd shot led to a Lavrinovic slam in transition. Then Giovannoni committed his fifth foul by pushing a driving McIntyre, resulting in an unsportsmanlike whistle, 4 McIntyre free throws and the ball, which McIntyre turned into a layup to seal the Montepaschi win.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007