Scavolini stayed in the thick of the Group B race and probably dropped Adecco Asvel from it for good when it posted a dominating 95-86 home win in Pesaro on Thursday. Scavolini controlled the action for 37 of the 40 minutes to lift its record to 5-4, good for part of a four-way tie for second place with Barcelona, Montepaschi and Zalgiris. The top scorer for Scavolini was again Charles Smith, who led the way with 23 points, including 10-for-11 free throw shooting. Scavolini's biggest spark came from Robert Archibald, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the last quarter, when Asvel center Huseyin Besok left the court with his fifth foul. Hanno Mottola added 14 points for the winners, Marko Milic 13 points, 5 steals and 4 assists, while newcomer Scoonie Penn scored 10. Asvel, whose record dropped to 2-7, was led by Terrell Lyday with 23 points. Tomislav Ruzic came next with 21, while Huseyin Besok had 14.
Scoonie Penn began his Euroleague debut with Scavolini by assisting Mottola for a triple that matched the one Makan Dioumassi had scored for Asvel. Tomislav Ruzic soon gave the visitors a 3-7 advantage, however, on a fade-away shot. Scavolini's reply came quick, as Penn and Charles Smith drilled three-pointers for a 10-2 run to a 13-9 lead for the hosts. Huseyin Besok then climbed off the Asvel and promptly scored twice to keep the guests as close as 17-15 despite another triple from Mottola. Soon, when Ruzic scored from beyond the arc, Asvel had a 19-19 tie. Now the spark came from Scavolini's bench and big man Robert Archibald, who scored 4 points in a row to help the hosts lead 25-21 after 10 minutes.
Asvel point guard Terrell Lyday left the court with an injury early in the second quarter, but Ruzic and Besok kept the visitors close so that Harold Mrazek could cut the difference to 32-29 with his three-pointer. Asvel couldn't handle Smith on the defensive end, however. Scavolini's top scorer found good drives to push the lead to 37-31. Lyday was back soon, but Asvel's offense struggled against Scavolini's center Tomas Ress, who was intimidating the visitors in the paint. Smith again, from the line, pushed the lead to its maximum so far, 43-35. Stephane Pelle and Lyday tried to resist for Asve. but the edge remained at 8 points 47-39, as Ress closed the half with a couple of foul shots.
Ruzic and Lyday tried to spark an Asvel comeback in the third quater with one shot each from downtown. Smith was the only one to reply as Scavolini stayed ahead 51-44. Defensive pressure gave Asvel a bit of confidence, but that was vaporized by a three-pointer from Teemu Rannikko for a double-digit difference, 56-46, midway through the quarter. With Rannikko and Penn both in foul trouble, Scavolini's offense was up and down, but the hosts managed to retain a decent lead despite Lyday's newest three-pointer. The closest Asvel could come was 7 points before Milic ended the quarter with a basket that drove Scavolini up by 9 at 64-55.
Lyday and Mrazek opened the final quarter with jumpers for Asvel, and when Herve Toure nailed a triple, after a reverse layup by Milic, the guests had pulled within 67-64. Besok found a bucket-plus-foul, but missed the free throw. To stay alive, Scavolini needed an amazing block by Smith that erased a breakaway layup attempt by Mrazek. After losing that basket, Asvel lost Besok to fouls. That was a hard blow for the guests, who watched Scavolini extend its lead as Milic finished a fastbreak and Smith drove for a dunk to make it 74-66. Still, it was not over. Ruzic and Pelle sank jumpers to cut the difference to 74-70. That's when Archibald took over. He and Ress slammed twice to thrill the fans, then Archibald racked up 7 more points as the lead rose to 85-75. Archibald kept dominating down the stretch to keep Scavolini in the right.
Thursday, January 6, 2005