Reggio Emilia wins a thriller on Kaukenas game-winner
Rimantas Kaukenas hit a last-second shot to lift Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 69-68 on Wednesday night. Both teams are now tied at 5-3 record in a share of the second place in Group B, and need to win one more game, or see one more Le Mans loss to mathematically secure its place in the Last 32. Teams traded leads throughout 40 minutes, and neither team built a lead bigger than 6 points before Darjus Lavrinovic and Amadeo Della Valle put the hosts up 66-58. But Ludwigsburg scored the next 8 points, and went up 67-68 with 3 seconds to go. After a timeout, however, ball went to Della Valle who dished it to Kaukenas who scored a game-winner for Reggio Emilia. Kaukenas finished with 15 points, and Lavrinovic had 14 to lead the hosts. Della Valle netted 13, while Pietro Aradori scored 12 in victory. Mustafa Shakur and Tekele Cotton had 12 apiece in defeat. Shawn Huff netted 11, and Jon Brockman collected 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rocky Trice had 7 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists for Ludwigsburg.
Achille Polonara and Kaukenas hit three-pointers in the early going for the hosts, but Brockman and Trice helped facilitate Ludwigsburg’s baskets, 8-10. A triple from Lavrinovic and buckets from Aradori had Reggio Emilia finish the opening quarter with a 7-0 run, and hold 15-10 after 10 minutes. Baskets were few and far between to start the second quarter. Shakur hit from long range for the visitors, but Della Valle hit a long dagger for Reggio Emilia, 24-18. Shakur and Brockman scored the next 6 points to tie things up at 24-24, and after a pair of back-to-back baskets from Lavrinovic, Shakur’s triple gave Ludwigsburg 28-29 halftime edge.
Team traded blows in the third. Kaukenas hit a triple for the hosts, but Royce O’Neale and Tekele Cotton hit back-to-back for Ludwigsburg, 31-35. Huff also hit a three for Ludwigsburg, but Andrea De Nicolao matched it for the hosts, 42-40. The visitors restored the lead with a three-point play from Jason Boone. Reggio Emilia kept going to the line and making free throws, but buckets from Trice and Shakur, and a buzzer-beating put-back from O’Neale gave Ludwigsburg 48-49 after 30 minutes. Della Valle hit from long range to start the fourth, and after Polonara and Cotton traded baskets, Huff and Lavrinovic traded triples, 58-56. Lavrinovic added couple more baskets, stringing together 7 points to help make it 63-56. Another Della Valle’s triple extended it to 66-58, but Cotton hit a triple for the visitors, and after Trice’s free throws, Huff’s three-pointer tied it at 66-66 with 36 seconds to go. Kaukenas only split free throws, but Trice made both with 3 seconds remaining, giving Ludwigsburg 67-68. However, it was enough time for Kaukenas to redeem himself, scoring a game-winning basket and bringing Reggio Emilia a crucial victory.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015