|Lietuvos Rytas got closer to reach the Eurocup Final Eight in difficult Group L by edging Artland Dragons 70-79 in Quakenbruck, Germany on Tuesday night. L. Rytas improved to 3-1 and ties for first place in this group. Meanwhile, Artland dropped to 0-4 and is mathematically out of the Final Eight race. Marijonas Petravicius led the winners with 18 points on 7-for-9 two-pointers. Chuck Eidson added 17, 9 rebounds and 8 assists while Steponas Babrauskas and Arturas Jomantas each had 14 points for L. Rytas. Darren Fenn led Artland with 17 points. Adam Hess and Lamont McIntosh each added 15 for the hosts. L. Rytas used a 0-8 early lead to dominate the game in the early going, while three-pointers by Eidson and Jomantas gave the guests a 21-25 edge after 10 minutes. Free throws by Jomantas and Babrauskas allowed L. Rytas to keep a 38-41 lead at halftime. L. Rytas led all the way in the second half, but Fenn had 6 points in a 8-0 Artland run that made it a three-point game, 70-73. Free throws by Eidson and a three-pointer by Babrauskas sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Petravicius got L. Rytas going with a layup while Eidson scored for a 2-4 lead. Artland struggled to score in the opening minutes while a put-back basket by Petravicius and a jumper by Mindaugas Lukauskis gave L. Rytas a 2-8 margin. Evaldas Dainys capped a 0-8 L. Rytas run with a dunk but McIntosh and Hess nailed back-to-back three-pointer to bring Artland back to life, 8-12. Hess made free throws while Dirk Madrich tied the game with a layup. Donatas Zavackas took over with a three-point play but Madrich answered from downtown for a 15-15 tie. Fenn nailed a triple while McIntosh sank a jumper for a 20-17 Artland lead. Petravicius kept pacing L. Rytas while three-pointers by Eidson and Jomantas restored a 21-25 edge after 10 minutes. Lukauskis capped a 0-9 L. Rytas run with another bomb from downtown early in the second quarter. Will Blalock sank free throws that Milko Bjelica erased with a layup. Blalock kept pacing Artland while a three-pointer by Hess got the hosts within 28-32. Darius Hall and an unstoppable Petravicius exchanged layups while Hess took over with a wild dunk-and-foul. Jomantas silenced the crowd with free throws but L. Rytas lacked ball circulation now. Meanwhile, a layup by Jan Rohdewald and a triple by McIntosh tied it at 38-38. More foul shots by Jomantas and Babrauskas fixed the halftime score at 38-41.
Petravicius made free throws immediately after the break but consecutive layups by Fenn and Chad Prewitt got Artland as close as 44-45. L. Rytas kept attacking the basket and going to the foul line often. Lukauskis and Petravicius hit free throws but Prewitt answered from downtown for a 47-49 Artland deficit. Jomantas stepped up with a layup but Fenn improved it with a three-pointer. Eidson and Hess traded dunks and even when Babrauskas sank a three-pointer, McIntosh answered from downtown to keep the Dragons in the game, 55-56. It didn't last long, however, as Eidson joined the three-point shootout while Babrauskas insisted from beyond the arc to give L. Rytas a 55-62 after 30 minutes. Flavio Stuckemann scored off a steal early in the fourth quarter. L. Rytas kept powering the offensive board while Babrauskas sank his third three-pointer in as many minutes to keep his team way ahead, 57-65. McIntosh tried to change things with a jumper but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Jomantas followed free throws with a layup to make it a double-digit game, 59-69, with under 6 minutes to go. Hess nailed a three-pointer but Petravicius scored down low to keep L. Rytas out of trouble. Fenn made 4-for-4 free throws that Nietzel followed with more fouls to bring Artland back to life, 68-73. A put-back layup by Fenn capped a 0-8 run and got the hosts within 70-73. Eidson rescued L. Rytas with free throws while another triple by Babrauskas sealed the outcome, 70-78, already in the final minute, as Artland never recovered.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009