Montepaschi Siena crushed Fenerbahce Ulker 101-58 on Wednesday to remain in the running for first place in Group A, while dealing FB Ulker's Top 16 chances a blow. The Italian champs won their fourth straight game to improve to 8-1 and next head to Barcelona for a head-to-head showdown for the top spot in the group and a top seed in the Top 16 Draw. FB Ulker fell to 3-6 and hosts Zalgiris next week in a game that may determine its fate. Montepaschi had a magical three-point shooting night, making 15 of 24 from downtown (62.5%) as nine different players sank triples including veteran center Denis Marconato, who made his fifth career three in his 173rd Euroleague appearance. The hosts recorded 13 steals and forced 19 Fenerbahce turnovers, which also doomed the visitors. Ksistof Lavrinovic scored 8 points in an 18-0 second quarter run as Montepaschi surged ahead 37-16 and led 50-25 by halftime. The lead continued to grow throughout the second half, peaking at 47 late as Montepaschi recorded a big win. Lavrinovic led the winners with 20 points, David Hawkins added 17 and four different players added 9 apiece, including Henry Domercant, who sank 4 free throws to stretch his run of consecutive free throws made to 43. Lynn Greer paced FB ulker with 18 points and Oguz Savas added 13 in defeat.
The visitors struck first through Savas in the paint before Romain Sato drilled a jumper for Montepaschi. Hawkins corrected his own miss and was fouled before Ben Eze also added a basket on the offensive glass as the host took control at 7-2. Siena’s defense did not allow FB Ulker any good looks, but the hosts also failed to capitalize by missing several close shots. Savas proved to be Fener’s go-to guy with a short jumper and a trip to the line on consecutive possessions to make it 9-5. Terrell McIntyre drilled a triple, but Semih Erden kept pace for the visitors with a slam and foul. A Sato triple kept the hosts cruising. Greer netted a pair of free throws and Emir Preldzic used a nifty move to get his team within 3. Greer went to the line again and narrowed the gap to 15-14. Lavrinovic responded with 2 foul shots for Montepaschi and Sato was fouled on the break and sank 2 free throws as well to make it 19-14 after 10 minutes.
Greer's penetration started the quarter and Nikos Zisis matched him at the other end. Lavrinovic drilled a long jumper and then a triple to extend the lead to double figures. The big man finished a fast break to wrap a run of 7 straight individual points before Domercant went to the line and extended the Montepaschi lead to 14. After a Fenerbahce timeout, Zisis made a three-pointer and Hawkins did the same to complete an 18-0 run for a 37-16 lead. Greer finally ended a six-plus-minute scoring drought with a short jumper, but Domercant and Mcintyre sandwiched triples around a Kinsey basket and Hawkins fed Domercant on the break as the lead hit 25. Gordan Giricek connected from downtown and Preldzic scored in the paint, but Tomas Ress became the seventh Montepaschi player to make a three in the first half, giving his team a 50-25 lead at the break.
FB Ulker broke the Montepaschi press for a Giricek jumper, but Eze hit a mid-range jumper at the other end. McIntrye added a three-pointer and then fed Shaun Stonerook inside to take the hosts’ lead to 30. Kinsey scored only to see Hawkins, Eze with a two-handed jam and Sato off a dish from McIntyre all score on successive possessions to take the lead to new heights. Hawkins added a steal and slam before draining a three that capped an 11-0 burst that made it 69-30. Erden’s slam was canceled by another Hawkins basket. Lorenzo D’Ercole hit from downtown to become the eighth Montepaschi player to score a three and take the hosts’ lead over the 40-point mark. Damis Mrsic countered with a three and Savas scored inside Marco Carraretto’s long jumper made it 78-39 at the end of the quarter.
Savas scored down low to open the fourth quarter, but Lavrinovic countered with a layup-plus-foul. Denis Marconato made his first Euroleague three since March 2007 and D’Ercole added another as the three-point display continued. By this point, the outcome was clear and the teams traded baskets waiting for the clock to run out. The lead peaked at 99-52 on a Ress jumper as the local fans enjoyed the show and another impressive win.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010