Montepaschi Siena topped Unics 71-79
Montepaschi Siena had a strong start in Turkish Airlines Euroleague's Group D by rallying from a double-digit deficit to top Unics 71-79 in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday night. Montepaschi grabbed its first road win right away and Unics could not please its fans with a win in their team's Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut. Bo McCalebb paced the winners with 17 points. Rimantas Kaukenas added 14 while David Andersen had 13 for Montepaschi. Henry Domercant led Unics with a Euroleague career-high 30 points. Nathan Jawai added 11 for the hosts. Kelly McCarty, Domercant and free throws by Terrell Lyday allowed Unics to get a 24-20 lead after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Mike Wilkinson soon gave Unics its biggest lead, 40-29, but an outstanding McCalebb shined late in the first half and buried a wild buzzer-beating triple to get Montepaschi within 44-43 at the break. Unics stayed in the game and got within 52-53 midway through the fourth quarter but Marco Carrareto struck twice from downtown in a 2-11 run that gave Montepaschi the lead for good, 55-64, after 30 minutes. Nothing changed from that moment, as Montepaschi kept a safe lead all the way until the final buzzer.
Jawai got Unics going with a free throw, as Montepaschi tried to get David Andersen involved in the opening 2 minutes. DaJuan Summers shined with a backdoor layup that McCarty bettered with a three-pointer, good for a 4-2 Unics edge. McCarty kept pacing Unics with a fast break layup but McCalebb erased that with foul shots. Summers banked in a turnaround jumper but Domercant got the crowd involved with an acrobatic basket. Kaukenas found his first points on a one-handed floater and McCalebb added his trademark layup in transition to tie it at 10-10. Domercant answered from downtown and a dunk by Jawai gave Unics a four-point lead, 15-11. Andersen downed a triple and free throws by Kaukenas gave Montepaschi its first lead, 15-16. Unics tried twin point guards with Lyday and Petr Samoylenko together on court. Lyday and Andersen traded 4-of-4 foul shots but a driving basket by McCarty allowed Unics to restore a 21-20 edge. Free throws by Samoylenko and Lyday extended the hosts' lead to 24-20 after 10 minutes.
Domercant downed 3-of-3 free throws early in the second quarter and Lyday banked in a running jumper to make it a nine-point game, 29-20, after an 8-0 run. David Moss
tried to change things with a tip-in that Domercant matched with an easy basket. Aleksey Savrasenko rolled off a high post pick to give Unics its first double-digit
lead, 33-22, forcing the guests to call timeout. Tomas Ress ignited the guests' comeback with a bomb from downtown, as Montepaschi started to play more aggressively in
defense. Nikos Zisis joined the three-point shootout to bring Montepaschi back to life, 33-28. Domercant stepped up again with a rainbow jumper and Lynn Greer added a
layup to give Unics fresh air at 37-29. Wilkinson buried a wide open triple but Ksistof Lavrinovic singlehandedly kept his team within 40-32. Jawai hit foul shots
but Zisis matched that with a jumper. McCalebb and Zisis shined with back-to-back fast break layups but Jawai dunked it again for a 44-38 Unics edge. McCalebb followed
a lightning quick driving layup with a wild buzzer-beating triple to get Montepaschi within 44-43 at the break.
McCalebb stayed on fire after the break and his free throws put his team back ahead, 44-45. Kaukenas soon capped a 0-9 run with a floating layup. Unics tried to get Jawai involved down low but a three-pointer by Kaukenas made the hosts stop the game at 45-50. Domercant - who else? - answered from downtown, as Montepaschi had started to miss open shots. The guests were all over the place in defense, however, and a three-point play by Andersen restored a 48-53 margin. Domercant insisted with yet another three-pointer and Lyday got Unics evcen closer, 52-53. Montepaschi tried to open the floor with Lavrinovic and Shaun Stonerook together on court and quickly improved its offense. Stonerook finished his team's great ball circulation with a seven-meter bomb and Lavrinovic added a driving layup that made Unics call a much-needed timeout at 52-58. Carrareto downed a corner triple in transition and even when Domercant copied him in the other end, he insisted from downtown for a 55-64 Montepaschi margin after 30 minutes.
Wilkinson scored down low early in the fourth quarter, as Montepaschi tried to slow down the game tempo, using longer possessions to run the game clock down and getting critical defensive stops right when it mattered. Lavrinovic had a big block on Vladimir Veremeenko and a layup by Stonerook broke the game open, 57-66, with over 6 minutes left. Veremeenko made free throws but Kaukenas beat the buzzer with a three-pointer that made it a double-digit game, 59-69. Veremeenko scored in the paint but Andersen quickly answered with his trademark baseline jumper and free throws by McCalebb sealed the outcome, 61-73, with over 4 minutes to go. Domercant sank free throws but Montepaschi stayed patient and kept going to the foul line often. By the time Kaukenas made free throws, everything was said and done already, 66-77. The guests returned home with a good-as-gold road win while Unics since to bounce back right away to improve its chances to go to the Top 16.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011