Olympiacos dominates the glass to beat Unicaja
Olympiacos Piraeus dominated the glass and pulled away in the second half in claiming a 73-55 victory over Unicaja Malaga Thursday at Peace and Friendship Stadium. The hosts set a club record with 21 offensive rebounds to overcome a rare tough night for Euroleague MVP Vassilis Spanoulis. Despite the star guard tying a career low with 2 points on 1-of-12 shooting, the Reds turned to veteran forward Georgios Printezis, who came through with 17 points. Bryant Dunston added 12 and Stratos Perperoglou 11 for the winners, who improved to 3-2 in Top 16 Group E. Unicaja led early, but after Olympiacos came back and took a 6-point halftime lead, the hosts dominated the second half and coasted to victory. Nik Caner-Medley led Unicaja with 11 points and Vladimir Stimac posted 8 points and 14 rebounds in defeat.
First quarter: Unicaja jumps in front, Olympiacos rallies back
Caner-Medley found Fran Vazquez at the basket for the game’s first basket. Cedric Simmons tipped in a Printezis miss for the Reds’ maiden basket. The hosts provided a highlight as Vassilis Spanoulis fed Simmons for a monster slam, but Zoran Dragic responded with a three to put the visitors up 4-7. A second-chance basket for Printezis kept Olympiacos close. Caner-Medley’s interception and slam followed by Jayson Granger’s alley-oop to Fran Vazquez extended the difference to 8-13. Vangelos Mantzaris buried a three from the corner to trim the deficit, but Dragic’s reverse layup kept Unicaja in control. Kostas Sloukas’s layup in transition and a long Perperoglou tied it at 17-17 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Printezis helps hosts pull ahead
Some pretty ball movement finished with Matt Lojeski bouncing a pass to Brent Petway for Olympiacos’s first lead. Stimac ended Unicaja’s four-minute scoreless stretch with a bucket inside. Ryan Toolson and Printezis traded threes to leave things even at 22-22. Stimac and Dunston each scored in the paint – the latter on the offensive glass. Though the pace sped up, missed layups kept the teams square. After Printezis scored a big three, Vazquez answered at the basket. However Spanoulis set up Dunston for a basket-plus foul – Vazquez’s second – for a 32-28 Olympiacos lead. A series of made – and missed – free throws kept the difference at 4. Mirza Begic free throws left the hosts ahead 37-31 at the break.
Third quarter: Reds extend difference to double figures
Stimac’s tip in and Dragic’s rejection of Spanoulis threatened to swing the momentum to the visitors, but Perperoglou came through with a triple to make it 40-33. Mindaugas Kuzminskas rattled the rim for Unicaja with a slam, but Begic scored at the other end and Printezis blocked Caner-Medley, leading to a 24-second violation. A Printezis layup extended the difference to 9. Kuzminskas dunked on the break to draw the visitors within 44-38. Another Perperoglou score and a Dunston tip-in, basket and foul gave the Reds their first double-digit advantage. Spanoulis drove for a layup – his first basket – and a 13-point lead. Simmons free throws extended a 9-0 run. Rafa Hettsheimeir’s triple ended a three-plus minute scoring drought for Unicaja, but Mardy Collins free throws kept the Reds comfortable in front, 55-41.
Fourth quarter: Olympiacos cruises down the stretch
A Lojeski layup and Printezis floater further pumped the Olympiacos lead. Lojeski added a layup on the break to put the hosts up 20. Caner-Medley ended another Unicaja scoring drought – this one four minutes. A Granger floater made it 61-45 midway through the quarter. Txemi Urtasun’s three gave the visitors some hope, but a Dunston drive and layup showed which team was in charge. Urtasun added another three but Dunston provided another highlight with a slam to send the Olympiacos fans home happy.
Thursday, January 30, 2014