Montepaschi still perfect after downing Besiktas
Montepaschi Siena kept its perfect Top 16 record intact by holding off Besiktas JK Istanbul 63-57 and taking sole possession of first place in Group F. The win improved Siena’s record to 5-0, while Besiktas dropped to 0-5 at the bottom of the group. The hosts, who played without Tomas Ress, controlled the first half as their lead reached 14 points several times, but Besiktas opened the third quarter with a 0-11 run, and by holding Siena to only 2 field goals in the quarter, took a 43-45 advantage entering the final 10 minutes. However, Siena’s defense held its own down the stretch and the hosts pulled out the victory with Bobby Brown and Viktor Sanikidze scoring key baskets. Sanikidze finished with 14 points, and Brown had 13. Matt Janning chipped in with 10 points, while Kristjan Kangur grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds. For Besiktas, Curtis Jerrells scored 16 points. Gasper Vidmar added 14 points plus 6 rebounds and Damir Markota had 12 points plus 8 rebounds in defeat.
First quarter: Siena takes control early
Benjamin Eze started things with a baseline jumper, and even though Patrick Christopher answered with a triple for Besiktas, the hosts took control from the start as Siena converted its first four possessions. A mid-range jumper from David Moss, a triple from Brown and a monster slam from Eze made it 9-3. Vidmar scored a jump-hook on the other end before Jerrells raced for a fastbreak layup, but Siena stepped it up on defense while one-handed slam by Eze and a basket-plus-foul from Moss gave the hosts a 14-7 advantage. After Vidmar’s jump-hook, Jerrells drove for a dunk to get the visitors within 3 points, but Eze hit another jump shot and Daniel Hackett sank a three-pointer for 19-11. Markota answered with a long jumper, but a dunk from Luca Lechthaler gave Siena a 22-13 lead, and that held up at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter: Hosts stretch lead to 14
Siena continued with defensive dominance at the start of the second quarter, while Kristjan Kangur grabbed a loose ball and converted it into a layup for the first double-digit lead of the game. That turned out to be the only basket in the opening two minutes of the second quarter until Markota made a put-back to snap Besiktas’s run of five and a half minutes without points. The hosts pushed the margin back to double figures again as Janning hit a triple and a jumper, and Brown added a jumper of his own as the lead reached 31-17. Daniel Ewing drove to the hoop and Cevher Ozer scored from downtown to cut the deficit, but Sanikidze scored inside three times in a row to restore a 14-point lead, before a triple from Jerrells made it 37-26 at halftime.
Third quarter: Besiktas starts with 0-11 run, turns things around
Vidmar inside and Markota with a triple gave Besiktas a quick start to the second half, and an easy layin from Jerrells cut it to 37-33 in only 90 seconds. Baskets inside from Jerrells and Vidmar extended the run to 0-11 and tied the game, while Siena needed almost six minutes before scoring its first points of the quarter when Janning sank a triple for 40-37. Jerrells stayed hot and hit another shot from long range. Cetin added a baseline jumper to make it 41-42. Siena briefly restored its lead after Janning muscled his way in for a layup, but Markota hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer that put Besiktas up 43-45 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Sanikidze holds off Besiktas
Brown scored from downtown to open the scoring in the fourth quarter before Vidmar and Sanikidze traded buckets inside. Christopher’s drive and Sanikidze’s baseline jumper continued the see-saw battle before Hackett’s layup-plus-foul made it 53-49. Hackett added a pair of free throws for a 6-point lead, and Siena maintained the advantage with defense that did not allow a field goal for more than three minutes. But put-backs from Vidmar and Christopher snapped Besiktas’s drought and brought them within 55-53. Brown kept Siena in front with a long floater, before Sanikidze restored a 6-point lead by going coast-to-coast for a two-handed dunk. After a timeout, Vidmar’s dunk kept Besiktas’s hopes alive, but Sanikidze made a put-back with 41 seconds to go for a 61-55 that essentially sealed the outcome.
Friday, January 25, 2013