Montepaschi outshoots Vitoria to keep share of first place
Montepaschi Siena hit 15 three-pointers on 26 attempts en route to an 85-74 victory over Caja Laboral Vitoria on Friday night. The win improved Siena’s record to 6-1 and a share of first place in Top 16 Group F alongside FC Barcelona Regal, while Caja Laboral dropped its third straight game and now has a 4-3 record. After trailing 35-39 early in the third quarter, the Italian champions went on an 18-4 run to take the lead for good. Siena hit 6 threes in the third quarter and 4 more early in the fourth to grab full control of the game and cruise to victory. Bobby Brown led the way with 18 points and 5 assists, while Matt Janning scored 16 points on 4-for-5 three-point shooting. Daniel Hackett also finished with 16, Benjamin Eze had 10 points and David Moss grabbed 11 rebounds along with his 9 points. For Caja Laboral, Maciej Lampe scored 17 points, Nemanja Bjelica collected 15 points plus 7 rebounds and Andres Nocioni had 10 points in defeat.
First quarter: Visitors overcome Siena’s triples to go in front
Lampe opened the scoring from close range, but it was Siena that got it going first, and it was from long range. Brown sank a wide-open triple before Kristjan Kangur and Janning hit back-to-back three-pointers for an 11-6 lead. Vitoria found success in the paint, with Thomas Heurtel running the show and Lampe punishing the hosts inside, but Brown’s triple and Benjamin Eze’s put-back made it 18-12. The visitors answered with a triple and a layup-plus-foul from Fernando San Emeterio, before Fabien Causeur beat the buzzer with a fastbreak layup for a 22-23 edge after the first quarter.
Second quarter: Defenses step up, Vitoria stays in front
Hackett made a layup at the start of the second quarter, but Laboral quickly regained the lead as San Emeterio hustled for a put-back-plus-free throw. Tibor Pleiss and Nemanja Bjelica added close-range buckets to keep the visitors in front. The Vitoria interior defense also stepped up, forcing the hosts to take tough shots from the outside. But Aleksandar Rasic hit a long jumper from one corner and a triple from the other. Eze added a couple of monster dunks to keep Siena within a single possession. Causeur and Nocioni helped the visitors go into the break holding a 35-37 lead.
Third quarter: Siena pulls away with an 18-4 run
Lampe and Brown traded jump shots at the beginning of the third quarter before Siena regained the lead with a triple from Janning, followed with back-to-back three-pointers from Moss for 48-41. The hosts’ decision to switch to zone defense disrupted Laboral’s rhythm, while Janning hit his third three-pointer as the margin swelled to 10 points. Nemanja Bjelica scored from downtown to snap an 18-4 run, but Siena scored 8 more unanswered points as Kangur and Moss sunk back-to-back threes to make it 61-46. On the other end, Lampe scored in the paint and Nemanja Bjelica finished the scoring in the quarter with a spectacular dunk over Eze, 61-50.
Fourth quarter: Hosts cruise as they drain more threes
Nemanja Bjelica and Eze traded buckets inside to start the fourth quarter before Hackett and Tomas Ress hit triples making it 71-54. After a timeout, Nocioni and Omar Cook scored from downtown to bring Laboral within 73-62, but more threes from Janning and Hackett maintained Siena’s double-digit advantage. Before the end, Lampe strung together 6 points to help the visitors cut it to 83-74 and Brown made a pair from the foul line to round out the scoring.
Friday, February 15, 2013