EA7 Milan evens record with win at Bamberg
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan evened its record with an important 62-76 victory over Brose Baksets Bamberg on Thursday. Alessandro Gentile scored 18 points to lead the winners, who are now tied with Bamberg in the Group B standings at 2-2. Nicolo Melli made a pair of three-pointers in a 2-10 second-quarter run that helped the visitors to a 33-43 halftime advantage. Bamberg clawed its way back to within 2 early in the fourth quarter, but Milan came alive on the defensive end to shut down the comeback while a pair of Keith Langford jumpers helped seal the win. Samardo Samuels added 13 points for Milan and Curtis Jerrells and Melli netted 11 each. Zach Wright paced Bamberg with 13 points, Damir Markota added 10 and Sharrod Ford tallied 9 points and 12 rebounds.
First quarter: Milan lead despite 12-0 Bamberg run
Bamberg coach Chris Fleming trusted the same starting lineup with John Goldsberry, Anton Gavel, Casey Jacobsen, Markota and Maik Zirbes. With new acquisition Gani Lawal not yet in uniform, Milan coach Luca Banchi made two substitutions to his first five with Gentile and CJ Wallace starting for David Moss and Melli along with Keith Langford, Jerrells and Samuels. Milan got on the board first with Gentile finding Samuels inside for an easy basket. After a Langford drive, Gentile grabbed a steal and raced down for a layup and a 0-6 EA7 lead – and a Bamberg timeout. Gavel finally scored for the hosts with two free throws and the Bamberg defense created tough shots and worked hard to get on the break. Markota scored a layup in transition to tie the game and Jacobsen nailed a trey from the left wing for a 9-6 lead – and a Milan timeout. Markota got open on the break for a triple to complete the 12-0 Bamberg run for a 12-6 lead. Milan worked hard to get to the basket with Langford converting a drive and Gentile hitting a three-point play to cut it to 12-11. After a Markota basket, Gentile drained a triple from the left wing to even it at 14-14. Sharrod Ford put back an offensive rebound to make it 16-14 before a Wallace layup and Jerrells jumper had Milan ahead 16-18. Zack Wright tied it for the hosts before Samuels hit a layup as Milan led 18-20 after one quarter.
Second quarter: Milan grabs control with 2-10 surge
Jamar Smith opened the scoring in the second quarter and gave Bamberg the lead 21-20. After Moss and Ford swapped baskets, Melli nailed a three-ball and Jerrells hit a tough layup for a 23-27 Milan advantage. Rakim Sanders got two points back but Melli drained a triple from the right wing and Gentile knocked down a jumper on the left baseline to finish a 2-10 Milan run and a 25-32 lead. After Philipp Neumann stopped the run, both teams struggled offensively. Wright drew an unsportsmanlike foul, which resulted in a Wright free throw and Neumann putting back an offensive rebound to get Bamberg to within 30-32. Gentile however answered with two free throws and basket off the glass before Samuels completed a three-point play for a 31-39 Milan cushion. Smith cut the margin to six with two foul shots but Jerrells hit a driving layup with three seconds left. And then Moss stole Jacobsen’s inbounds pass and nailed a jumper at the buzzer as Milan went to the locker room ahead 33-43.
Third quarter: Hosts chip away at Milan lead
Samuels started the second half scoring and was answered by Wright on the break after Gentile raced back to block a Jacobsen shot. Gentile continued his superb game to make it 35-47. Smith grabbed his own miss and knocked down a jumper and Markota followed that with a three-ball to cut the deficit to 40-47. After Jerrells got to the cup for a tough layup, Gavel hit Smith for a long pass and easy transition basket to get the hosts to within 42-49. The Milan cushion was up to 44-53 after a Samuels dunk off an offensive rebound. But Gavel knocked down a three-ball and the Wright tipped in a miss by Ford to cut the gap to 49-53. Samuels threw down a putback dunk in the final minute before Wright hit a layup to make it 51-56 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Bamberg goes cold for five and a half minutes
Wright started the fourth quarter with a free throw and Zirbes went up and under for a reverse layup to get the hosts to within 54-56. Bamberg buckled down on defense and Milan did not score until the 7:22 minute mark with Marquez Haynes draining a three-ball for his first points of the game. Bamberg missed a series of three-pointers looking to make it a one-possession game but continued to play tough defense, including Zirbes’ block on a dunk attempt by Gentile with six minutes to play. With Bamberg unable to score, Langford knocked down long jumpers from both wings for a 54-63 lead with 3:50 to play. Gavel finally snapped a five and a half minute scoreless stretch with a jumper to make it 56-63. But David Chiotti came off the bench for a jumper – and his first points – and Melli drained a triple for a 56-68 Milan lead with less than three minutes to play. Ford converted a three-point play to make it 59-68, but Milan grabbed an offensive rebound and Chiotti scored again for a 59-70 scoreline with 1:22 remaining. After a Wright free throw, Bamberg sent Jerrells to the line and the guard missed both foul shots but Langford crashed the offensive glass and then made two of two to push it to 60-72 with 1:05 to play. Wallace added two more with 47 seconds left.
Thursday, November 7, 2013