Aris BSA battled to a Group C victory on the road against Rudupis, 60-71, in Prienai, Lithuania on Tuesday night behind 16 points and 4 blocked shots from Sam Muldrow. With the win Aris entered a tie for second placein the Group with Rudupis at 1-1. Dominic James knocked down 14 points and Dimitrios Tsaldaris added 10 for Aris. Adas Juskevicius and Saulius Kuzminskas paced the losers with 11 points apiece. The hosts ended the first half out front, 27-24, but a 0-8 run by Aris in the third quarter secured by solid rebounding and timely three-point shooting made the difference.
Povilas Butkevicius opened the scoring for Rudupis, then Mudrow answered with three consecutive baskets to give Aris an early 2-6 lead. After Aidas Viskontas split free throws, both teams hit a two-minute scoring lull that ended with a Saulius Kuzminskas layup as the hosts cut the lead to 5-6. Rudupis went up on Dainius Salenga’s free throws and a Kuzminskas dunk, 9-6. Juskevicius and Tsaldaris exchanged baskets, then Giorgos Bogris hit a layup on the heels of a Kuzminskas free throws, as the hosts stayed up 12-10. The rest of the first quarter saw a succession of three more split free throws, two of them by Rudupis, to end the quarter at 14-11. James cut the Rudupis lead to 14-13 to start the second, then split free throws to tie the game 14-14. But Salenga put the hosts back on top by draining a three-pointer, soon answered by a Christos Tapoutos layup for 17-16. Viskontas and Tapoutos exchanged two-pointers, then Salenga and Tsaldaris swapped bombs from downtown as Rudupis held on to its slim lead, 22-21. Juskevicius knocked down another from downtown for the hosts, but Aris responded with a Tapoutos jumper and split free throws by James to keep things close, 25-24. Two free throws by Justas Sinica Rudupis with just over a minute were the lasts points of the half and the hosts entered the third quarter with a 27-24 lead.
Rudupis added 2 points to its lead to start the half on a layup by Gediminas Orelik, but then Aris produced an 8-point scoring surge on Muldrow’s layup and three-pointer, followed by another bomb from downtown by Ronald Davis to suddenly give Aris the lead, 29-32. Bogris hit a jumper and Davis a layup, then Viskontas and Kuzminskas scored 2-pointers from outside, pushing the score to 33-36. The tempo slowed until Michalis Tsairelis hit a jumper to keep Aris out front 33-38. After free throws by Juskevicius, Tapoutos and Dan Mavraides buried consecutive three-pointers for Aris for a promising 35-44 lead. Davis hit a layup and free throw for Aris, then Juskevicius answered for Rudupis, as the visitors’ lead climbed to 37-47 entering the final minute of the quarter. James banged in a shot from the outside for the visitors, but Simas Buterlevicius knocked down a two-pointer at the buzzer as the quarter ended with Aris on top 39-49. Mavraides resumed where he left off, hitting a three-pointer to open the fourth and extending the Aris lead to 39-52. Rudupis finally stopped the visitors’ momentum by hitting the next 4 points on baskets by Gintaras Kadziulis amd Juskevicius, but Muldrow hit from downtown to keep pace with a Kadziulis triple. After Sergio Kerusch hit a layup to keep the Aris lead in double digits, 46-57, Kadziulis and James swapped triples, then Salenga hit a 2-pointer from outside, clipping the Aris lead to 51-60. After an Aris timeout, Muldrow hit from the outside and Kuzminskas knocked down 2 free throws, followed by a three-pointer by James to further extend the Aris lead to 53-65. A layup by Butkevicius and a series of free throws bumped the score to 56-71 with just over a minute to go. Rudupis managed to cut 4 from the lead on an Orelik dunk and Butkevicius jumper, but it was too little, too late as Aris took the win 60-71.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011