| Lottomatica Roma sent a statesment that echoed all around the competition by downing CSKA 69-74 in Moscow, Russia, in Group C on Wednesday. Roma stayed undefeated in Group C and registered its first win in the Russian capital in club history. Meanwhile, CSKA dropped to 1-1 and had its first home loss against a Italian team since Montepaschi Siena beat the Russian powerhouse on November 2, 2005. Andre Hutson led the winners with 15 points. Kennedy Winston and Herve Toure each added 13 while Ibby Jaaber had 11 for Roma. Zoran Planinic led CSKA with game-highs of 22 points and 7 rebounds. J.R. Holden added 12 while Ramunas Siskauskas had 10 for the hosts, that used a 17-2 run that get a 46-39 lead early in the third quarter. Hutson and Rodrigo De La Fuente brought Roma back to life while Toure allowed the guests to get a 60-68 lead with 4 minutes left. CSKA managed to get within 69-70 already in the final minute but a critical jumpr by Toure and free throws by De La Fuente allowed Lottomatica to celebrate a historical win.
Hutson got Lottomatica going with his trademark turnaround jumper. A long two-pointer by Holden tied it at 2-2. Winston scored in transition and added a six-meter jumper to put Roma back ahead, 4-6. Dimitri Sokolov shined with a power layup that Angelo Gigli erased with a put-back dunk. Jaaber nailed a three-pointer to boost Roma's lead to 6-11, while CSKA kept looking for Sokolov down low. Hutson made free throws off a CSKA timeout, as the hosts tried to speed up the game tempo with Planinic on court. He fed Sokolov for another easy layup that Winston matched with a driving basket. Siskauskas scored around the basket while a triple by Planinic tied the game at 15-15. Ricky Minard sank foul shots that Siskauskas erased with a backdoor layup. Winston and Toure struck from downtown and, even when Sasha Kaun scored inside for CSKA, Jaaber gave Roma a 19-25 edge. A free throw by Hutson and a three-point play by Planinic fixed the score at 22-26 after 10 minutes.
Toure scored inside right at the start of the second quarter but Planinic stepped up with a floating jumper. CSKA struggled to get Siskauskas involved while a tip-in by Andrea Crosariol kept Lottomatica way ahead, 24-30. Holden buried a seven-meter bomb that De La Fuente answered with a four-meter jumper for Roma. CSKA called a much-needed timeout to improve its ball circulation, as Roma did not allow any open shots now. Planinic and Crosariol traded layups as Roma tried a 2-3 zone defense. Winston downed another triple to boost Roma's margin to 29-37, putting CSKA in danger on its own court. Planinic lifted CSKA out of that danger zone with a three-pointer while Anton Ponkrashov scored in the low post to bring the hosts within 34-37. Roma could not find its way to the basket now as free throws by Planinic and a big basket by Ivan Radenovic completed CKSA's comeback to a 38-37 lead after a 9-0 run. Hutson shined with dunk but Planinic bettered him with a layup-plus-free throw - his 18th point of the half - good for a 41-39 CSKA edge at halftime.
Siskauskas fed Holden for a big triple immediately after the break while Planinic beat the shot-clock buzzer with a running jumper that gave CSKA a 46-39 lead after a 17-2 run. Hutson started Roma back with a mid-range jumper that Siskauskas matched with a driving layup. De la Fuente stepped up with a three-pointer and free throws in a 0-9 Roma run that Hutson capped with a tip-in to put the guests back in front, 48-50. Holden sank a wide-open corner triple but Toure dunked to provide another lead change, 51-52. Roma tried to play more physical, putting pressure on Holden and Ponkrashov, and while Hutson and Winston made free throws, CSKA could not find answers on offense now. Crosariol rolled off the pick for a layup that made it a six-point game, 51-57. Sokolov and Minard traded foul shots but Roma stayed aggressive on defense. Even with that, Holden brought CSKA within 53-58 at the end of the third quarter.
Viktor Khryapa rescued CSKA with a shot from downtown - his first points - early in the fourth period. CSKA was all over the place on defense right when it mattered and free throws by Planinic tied the game, 58-58, with 8 minutes left. Just then, however, Crosariol took over with a power layup while Jaaber scored twice in transition to make CSKA call timeout, 58-64, after a 0-6 run. Khryapa shined with a turnaround jumper that Jaaber matched with an uncontested layup. Free throws by Toure put CSKA on the ropes, 60-68, midway through the fourth quarter. It was do-or-die time for the hosts and Andrey Vorontsevich downed a key triple. Siskauskas soon added free throws to get the crowd involved at 65-68. Roma kept missing shots, allowing Ponkrashov to make it a one-point game, 67-68, with under 3 minutes to go. Meanwhile, Hutson sank a five-meter shot off a Roma timeout but free throws by Siskauskas kept CSKA within 69-70 with 58 seconds left. But that is when CSKA's scoring dried up. Toure beat the shot clock buzzer with a wild corner jumper while Winston had a critical block that allowed De La Fuente to seal the outcome at the foul line, 69-74, with 16.4 seconds left. CSKA kept trying but Roma was already celebrating a well-deserved win.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009