Anadolu Efes, which beat EA7 Emporio Armani 54-62
Anadolu Efes led from start to finish as it clinched a very important road win on Thursday by beating EA7 Emporio Armani Milano 54-62. Stako Barac scored 16 and Tarence Kinsey posted 13 for Efes, which improved to 2-1 and moved into a three-way tie for first place in Group C. Efes started strong and led by 15 early in the second quarter and 21-33 at halftime. Omar Cook and Danilo Gallinari rallied Armani within 2, but Kinsey and Sasha Vujacic shut the door on that comeback. The hosts rallied again in the fourth only to see Barac and Vujacic take charge and carry Efes to victory. Vujacic added 12 for the winners. Gallinari scored 12 for Milano, but was ejected late in the fourth quarter. Bourousis added 11 plus 10 rebounds for the hosts, who suffered from a miserable three-point shooting night (2 for 18).
Efes stunned the Milano faithful from the beginning with Kinsey stepping up on both ends and ErsanIlyasova and Vujacic scoring for a 0-6 start. Ioannis Bourousis got Armani on the scoreboard and Nicolo Melli, who made his first Euroleague start, closed the gap to 4-8 before Kinsey – through a steal and slam – helped push the lead up to 9. Dusko Savanovic made it a double-digit advantage from the line before Antonis Fotsis came off the bench to drain a Milano triple. But Savanovic also hit from downtown and Kinsey made it 9-22 after 10 minutes.
Barac stretched the visitors lead to 15 with the first basket of the second quarter. The Milano defense took over at that point and kept Efes scoreless for several minutes. During that time EA7 started to work its way back through Drew Nicholas and Bourousis. But the Efes defense was also strong and when Kerem Tunceri hit from beyond the arc, the visitors were back up 18-31. A Bourousis free throw made it 21-33 at the half.
The teams traded points for the first few minutes of the second half. Cook looked to take control for Milano with a pair of free throws and a baseline jumper to get within 28-36. The momentum swung the home team’s way after Esteban Batista was called for an unsportsmanlike foul for fouling with Gallinari after the whistle. The resulting free throws and a Stefano Mancinelli drive further narrowed the gap. Then Gallinari scooped up a missed free throw and scored to make it 34-36. Savanovic and Batista helped restore an Efes cushion. And Kinsey and Vujacic led a 0-7 push to make it 36-47 by the end of the quarter.
Bourousis scored inside and Nicholas from three-point land as Armani fought back to within 5. Despite the rising tension, the play was moving fast and exciting. A crosscourt pass from Gallinari to Fotsis made the run 8-0. Barac became the go-to guy for Efes with baskets in the post on back-to-back possessions and Vujacic drilled a long jumper that put Efes back ahead by a comfortable margin, 44-53. Barac added a free throw to make it a 10-point game once more. A pair of Efes turnovers gave Armani an opportunity, but the point never came. A baseline slam by Kinsey with just under three minutes left just about wrapped up the win. And the final straw was Gallinari getting ejected for for arguing after getting whistled for a foul on Barac. Vujacic knocked down 4 free throws to ice the win.
Thursday, November 3, 2011