Montepaschi Siena flexed its strength on Wednesday with a big road win over Olympiacos at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. A huge fourth quarter from Terrell McIntyre helped the Italian champs become the first team to beat Olympiacos at home this season, 73-80. The victory sealed second place in Group A for Montepaschi, which finished the regular season with a 10-4 record. Meanwhile Olympiacos finishes the regular season on a three-game losing streak, which dropped the Reds’ record to 7-7. Olympiacos used a big second period to take control, leading by as many as 12 settling on a 31-41 halftime lead. After a stern talk from head coach Pini Gershon, Olympiacos used a 14-3 charge to tie the game in the third period and went ahead early in the fourth. Big minutes from Marc Jackson and Lynn Greer put the hosts up 62-55. However that’s when McIntyre took over, going for 4 three-pointers – each one –bigger than the last – and 15 fourth-quarter points to put Montepaschi in control. Shaun Stonerook iced the game with a critical triple that made it 71-77 with less than a minute to go as the visitors swiped a nice road win. McIntyre led Montepaschi with 19 points, Ksistof Lavrinovic scored 16, Vlado Ilievski 13 and Stonerook added 11. Jackson was Olympiacos’s best player with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Greer added 14 points and Ioannis Bourousis had 10.
Some good offensive rebounding by the hosts resulted in an Olympiacos 4-1 start with baskets-on-offensive boards coming from Milos Teodosic and Greer. McIntyre and Bootsy Thornton, though, found easy points to push Siena infront 4-5. Ben Eze scored a good basket-plus-foul before Qyntel Woods nailed a triple to make it 7-8. It was obvious that Montepaschi preferred to go for a slow-tempo game and the guests managed to control the rhythm as Olympiacos was finding trouble to create open opportunities. Points came from the free-throw line for the Reds, mainly with Jackson, allowing Olympiacos sail ahead 13-10. Poor shooting hurt Siena, too, but from the line the visitors were accurate to get to a 15-15 tie. Shaun Stonerook sank a triple for a 15-18 Montepaschi lead after one quarter.
Lavrinovic fired in a three-pointer and drew the foul, too, and when Ilievski scored on the fast-break Siena was ahead 23-17 as the home fans started to express loudly their disappointment. The guests continued to dictate the tempo; Ilievski and Hector Romero scored for a 19-27 lead to force coach head coach Pini Gershon call for an Olympiacos timeout. Ilievski stole the ball from Greer and ran the open floor for Montepaschi’s first double-digit lead. The difference grew more with points from Romero, but Giorgos Printezis showed some reaction for Olympiacos with a basket-plus-free-throw to cut it to 22-31. Lavrinovic nailed a triple from the corner, but Kostas Vassiliadis dished consecutive assists to Jackson to allow the Reds to get within 29-34. However Montepaschi didn’t panic. A three-pointer by Marco Carraretto and inside baskets from McIntyre and Lavrinovic let the guests run away again at 29-41. Printezis scored before halftime to make it 31-41 for Siena.
A dunk by Bouroussis warmed the atmosphere in the Hall, but soon Stonerook chipped in a triple for a 35-46 Siena lead. Consecutive steals from Olympiacos led to easy layups as the Reds came closer. Some bad decision making by both sides followed before Jackson scored in the paint to get the hosts within 41-46. Ilievski and Manolis Papamakarios exchanged three-pointers before Bouroussis fired in another triple as the shot clock expired to bring the hosts as close as 47-49 as the crowd got loud, this time to support Olympiacos. Vassilopoulos tied it from the charity at 49-49, wrapping a 14-3 charge. Keith McLeod stepped up for a huge three-pointer for Siena to make it 49-52 and silence the crowd. Free throws by Jackson closed the third quarter with the score at 51-52, still in favor of Montepaschi.
Bouroussis brought Olympiacos ahead for the first time since the very beginning at 53-52, but soon Lavrinovic fired in another triple to put Siena infront again. Jackson and Greer added 4 straight points for the hosts to take the lead back, 57-55. Papamakarios found a triple from the corner and Greer ran the court for 62-55 as Olympiacos was now ordering the tempo. McIntyre created room for a three-pointer behind the screen to make it 64-60 with five minutes still to play. Free throws by McIntyre and Carraretto offered solutions for Siena, but Papamakarios drove to make it 68-63. It was time for McIntyre to take the situation into his hot hands; two consecutive critical triples and Siena was at helm again at 68-69. Jackson answered from inside, but McIntyre was in the zone to add another three-pointer to make it 70-72. Bouroussis missed one from the line at 71-72, but Stonerook didn’t copy him as he sank two free throws. Teodosic and Greer missed twice and the ball possession was now to Siena with 50 seconds to go. Stonerook nailed a triple to make it 71-77 and there was no time left for Olympiacos to react as Siena forced the Reds to their first home defeat this season.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008