Fenerbahce Ulker picked up a crucial road win by topping Lottoatica Roma 63-84 in the Italian capital on Thursday night. Fenerbahce won for third time away from home this season and improved to 5-5 in Group C, good for fourth place. Meanwhile Roma, which topped Panathinaikos and Real Madrid in its last two home games, dropped to 3-7. Willie Solomon paced the Turkish champs with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while Mirsad Turkcan added 13 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. His sixth board of the game, early in the third period, saw Turkcan become the first player to reach 1,000 rebounds in Euroleague Basketball history. The game was close in the early going and into the second period. However Fener went on a 2-23 tear leading into halftime and the third period to take control for good. Fener center Oguz Savas, sporting a full beard, scored 15 in his first start of the season and Omer Onan added 14. Gregor Fucka led Roma with 15 points and 9 rebounds, David Hawkins added 13 points, Erazem Lorbek had 12 points and 9 boards and Roberto Gabini scored 10.
Roma won the opening tip and soon went ahead on a Hawkins basket. The hosts led 6-0 after Lorbek scored inside before Rasim Basak drew a foul from Gabini while shooting a three and sank the resulting free throws for his team’s first points. Allan Ray came right back with a triple, but Savas made sure that Roma couldn’t get away. Roko-Leni Ukic put the hosts on top 15-10, however back-to-back threes by Damir Kaan and Turkcan gave Fener its first lead of the night. Lorbek swayed the advantage back to the hosts once more only for an Emir Preldzic bucket to put Fener ahead 18-19 after 10 minutes.
The lead changed hands again as Fucka opened the second period with a basket in the paint, which was erased by Turkcan. Fucka and Onan again traded baskets as the lead went from side to side. The game was tight with Fucka carrying the home team before a Gabini triple made it 30-26. However Fener reeled off the next 12 points as part of a 2-16 charge to take control for good. The charge began with an Onan three, continued with Omer Asik and then Savas and Solomon as the visitors built a 32-42 halftime lead.
Fener continued its dominance as Solomon’s next triple capped a 0-7 spurt that was part of an overall larger 2-23 run. During this time Turkcan grabbed his history-making rebound. Ukic and then Hawkins from the line showed the Roma spirit and got the hosts within 40-49. Solomon tried to dash their spirit as his triple restored a double-digit lead. Ukic’s next basket was equaled via Savas’s free throws and more points from the charity stripe through Turkan and Solomon kept Fener ahead 44-59.
Savas made it a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter as Roma’s hopes of another big home win flitted away. A big three-pointer by Gabini and another from Lorbek allowed the hosts to think about getting back, but Fener hung in and the lead was never in doubt after that. An Onan three and a Solomon basket helped seal the big road win.
Thursday, January 3, 2008