Montepaschi Siena secured second place in Group B with a dominating 79-103 road victory at SLUC Nancy, eliminating the French side from the Top 16 in the process. Siena finished 8-2 in the group, behind only Barcelona, and will do no worse than tie for the second-best regular season record. Siena had a 0-12 first-quarter run to grab the upper hand, am 8-21 second-quarter surge to take more control, and a 2-16 third quarter push that was the knock-out punch. Siena made 12 of 25 three-pointers and committed just 10 turnovers as seven players scored in double figures. Shaun Stonerook and Arriel McDonald led the way with 15 points apiece - both hitting 3 three-pointers - while Ksistof Lavrinovic and Henry Domercant each scored 13 points. Romain Sato had 12 points, Tomas Ress added 10 points and Terrell McIntyre collected 12 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists and 3 steals. Jeff Greer totaled 18 points to lead Nancy, which dropped to 2-8 in the group and will watch the remainder of the tournament from home. Cyril Julian added 15 points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort. And Ricardo Greer chipped in 9 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Ricardo Greer hit inside to open the scoring for the hosts and Steed Tchicamboud's two foul shots made it 4-0 early on. McIntyre got Siena on the board with a three-pointer and Stonerook followed suit the next trip down the court. While Nancy could not find a basket the Siena big man Stonerook knocked down back-to-back three-point shots to give him 9 straight points and complete a 0-12 run for a 4-12 lead. Julian ended the run with a jumper and then put back an offensive rebound to make it 8-12. Benjamin Eze though was left open in the lane and McIntyre fed him for a dunk before Julian's inside layup had Nancy within 10-14. But Sato came right back down and hit a baseline jumper and Eze got another dunk in the paint as Siena led 10-18. Michel Morandais drained a triple and then Lamayne Wilson drove into the lane for a dunk and Ricardo Greer grabbed a steal and converted a break-away layup to trim the deficit to 17-20, resulting in a Montepaschi time-out. Eze came out of the time-out hitting from the baseline with the shot-clock winding down and then Sato's two foul shots had the lead back to 17-24. And two more Sato free throws left Siena leading 19-26 after one period.
Ricardo Greer opened the second quarter with an inside basket and then the forward picked up a steal and dished to Akin Akingbala, who dunked all alone on the break to make it 23-26. McDonald's jumper got Montepaschi on the board in the second quarter and Marco Carreretto's driving layup made it 23-30. Nancy had a long possession with a couple of offensive rebounds and Siena fouls. But the French side came up empty as Jeff Greer missed two free throws. Akingbala missed two more foul shots as well and then Lavrinovic converted a driving layup on the other end. Siena grabbed a steal and Lavrinovic drained a triple from the wing and the gap grew to 23-35. Jeff Greer's mid-range jumper brought the lead back to 10 points, but McDonald hit two free throws, Ricardo Greer missed two more for Nancy and McIntyre sliced into the lane for a layup and a 25-39 advantage. Tchicamboud's two foul shots trimmed the margin to 28-41 before McIntyre went coast-to-coast for a layup. Jeff Greer would knock down a long ball and the lead was down to 31-43. But Ress was all alone on the wing for a triple for Siena. Ress again was the beneficiary of some fine passing and finished inside to make it 31-48. And then Ress knocked a three-point shot from the top of the key to open a 20-point advantage - 31-51. John Cox made two free throws just before the break as the teams headed to the locker-room with Siena up 33-51.
Domercant started the second half with a layup after some fine Siena passing to re-establish a 20-point advantage. Jeff Greer helped keep alive Nancy's hopes with a three-pointer from the wing. After McIntyre answered with a tough driving layup, Jeff Greer converted a three-point play and the gap was 39-55. Jeff Greer connected from long range and Nancy trailed just 42-56. Domercant hit two jumpers and Ricardo Greer made a free throw as the lead was 45-60. But Siena had taken Nancy's best shot and was about to pull away. McIntyre was given a layup on a goal-tending call and Stonerook tipped in a miss. Sato was then unstoppable in the lane against Ricardo Greer, who was strapped with four fouls. Jeff Greer hit a layup to make it 47-69. But McIntyre found a streaking Lavrinovic for a transition dunk, Lavrinovic hit a tough layup but missed the extra foul shot and Sato converted in transition after a turnover, completing a 2-16 run for a 47-76 lead. Cox stopped the surge with a triple and Wilson made a three-point play but Nancy still trailed 53-81 after three periods.
Cox opened the fourth quarter with a triple but was answered by McDonald from long range. Morandais also hit from deep territory but the veteran McDonald struck again from outside to remain ahead 59-87. Ress's jumper gave Montepaschi a 30-point lead. Julian's put-back trimmed the margin to 62-89 but Domercant hit a jumper and Lavrinovic nailed a long ball as the lead was up to 62-94. McDonald would hit two more free throws and a long ball and Luca Lechthaler was the one who brought Siena into triple digits with an inside layup to make it 62-101 before Zaki Aboubakar dunked to stop the 0-12 run. But the game was way out of reach.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009