Fenerbahce Ulker registered its first win in Group C by downing Lottomatica Roma 85-66 on its home court of Abdi Ipecki in Istanbul, Turkey in an early game on Tuesday night. Fenerbahce improved to 1-2 in its second home game of the season. Meanwhile, Roma dropped to 0-3 but still has to play all its 7 home games in Group C. Will Solomon led the winners with 21 points. Ibrahim Kutluay added 17 points off the Fenerbahce Ulker bench, Damir Kaan had 14 while Mirsad Turkcan posted a monster double-double of 12 points and 17 rebounds for the hosts. Erazem Lorbek had 15 points for Roma while Jon Stefansson added 13 on 7-of-7 free throws for the guests, who committed 18 turnovers tonight. Fenerbahce led 20-10 after 10 minutes and managed to keep a safe edge all the way, extending its margin to 65-47 after 30 minutes to cruise to a much-needed, well-deserved win.
Fenerbahce came out ready to run Roma off the floor, taking a quick 7-0 lead thanks to a three-pointer by Turkcan . The defensive toughness of the home team forced Roma into several turnovers in the first 5 minutes, allowing Fenerbahce to extend its lead to 9 points, at 11-2, on Omer Onan's basket. Roma tried to ease the tempo of Fenerbahce and finally pushed its points total into double digits with a layup by Gregor Fucka. But the spectacular dunk of James White plus a layup of Oguz Savas over Fucka ended the first quarter with Fenerbahce comfortably in front, 20-10.
Roma found in the second quarter what they were looking for nearly all the first: points. The visitors scored 9 of them in three possessions to start the second quarter. Allan Ray's back-to-back three-pointers plus another shot from long range by Roberto Gabini suddenly had Roma back in the game at 26-19. But Fenerbahce responded well to those points. Solomon, Turkcan and Damir Mrsic answered with three-pointers of their own soon to restore a double-digit advantage at 29-19. The veteran forward Turkcan kept his team going to a 31-19 advantage, the team's best so far, as his own point total reached 11. Roma started a zone press in attempts to break the resistance of Fenerbahce. Since it worked, the visitors kept on doing it. In the final minute of the half, Fucka and Lorbek scored to bring Roma as close as 40-34, but Solomon's speedy full-court run and jumper from the post at the buzzer ended the first half with Fenerbahce up by 42-34.
Fenerbahce made a thunderous start to the second half, rolling off a 10-2 blast to extend its lead to 14 points. Solomon's layup halfway through the quarter made it 54-38. The home team stayed focused in the game while Roma's consecutive misses and turnovers turned into Fenerbahce fastbreaks. Lorbek tried to keep Roma in the game but Turkcan's rebounds gave Fenerbahce all the possessions it needed to keep contro. Solomon made another layup for the home team that pushed the lead to 20 points before the third quarter ended 65-47 with Roma already demoralised.
Kutluay's three-pointer early in the final quarter boosted the Fenerbahce lead to 21 points at 68-47 while the visitors tried to close the gap behind Lorbek and Stefansson. But those efforts plus the weakness in defense didn't help Roma too much. Kaan's back-to-back three-pointers in the 38th minute extended the lead higher than ever, 85-61, as Fenerbahce treated its fans to an easy first victory.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007