Lietuvos Rytas took the showdown between previously undefeated teams in Group F by thrashing Azovmash 83-55 in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday. Rytas is now the exclusive leader atop this group at 2-0. Ronnie Seibutis paced the winners with 17 points. Mindaugas Katelynas added 15, Jonas Valanciunas has 12 while Predrag Samardziski pulled down 11 rebounds for Rytas. Ricky Minard led Azovmash with 12 points, Hasan Rizvic added 11 and Daniel Ewing 10 for the guests, that were outrebounded by 50-34 tonight. Azovmash's defense allowed the guests to control the game in the early going and a three-pointer by Igor Zaytsev gave his team a 10-16 margin after 10 minutes. Azovmash increased its lead to 12-21 but Jonas Valanciunas, Tyrese Rice and an unstoppable Seibutis fueled a 18-0 run that made Rytas regain a 34-28 margin at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Rytas boosted its margin to 56-40 after 30 minutes and then again to 65-44 midway through the fourth quarter, enough for the hosts to cruise to an important win.
Rizvic got Azovmash going with a layup, as Rytas struggled to score in the opening minutes. The hosts missed 3 shots and picked 3 early turnovers until a jumper by Seibutis tied it at 2-2. Minard and Seibutis traded layups but a jumper by Ewing put the guests back ahead, 4-6. Lawrence Roberts dunked it off a steal and Samadziski soon gave Rytas its first lead, 8-7. Oleksandr Kolchenko stepped up with a put-back layup and Rizvic scored down low to give Azovmash an 8-11 edge. A jumper by Denys Ivanov and a three-pointer by Zaytsev boosted the guests' lead to 10-16 after 10 minutes. Aleksandar Rasic buried a jumper early in the second quarter but Joe Crispin struck from downtown and Ivanov soon made it a nine-point game, 12-21. Rytas did not panic, however, as Seibutis and Valanciunas stepped up to make Azovmash call timeout at 18-21. The guests kept struggling to score and a layup-plus-foul by Valanciunas made Rytas regain the lead, 23-21. Rice nailed a triple and a layup by Katelynas capped an 18-0 run for a 30-21 score. Minard shined late in the first half to singlehandedly get Azovmash within 34-28 at halftime.
Valanciunas took over with a three-point play right after the break and Seibutis gave the hosts their first double-digit lead, 48-38. A dunk by Valanciunas soon capped an 8-0 run that broke the game open, 42-28. Kolchenko and Rizvic tried to change things for Azovmash and a free throw by Minard got the guests within 42-32. Katelynas and Samardziski stepped up with consecutive layups but Ewing and Maksym Ivshyn kept Azovmash as close as 47-37. It didn't last long, however, as a 7-0 Rytas run that Samardziski capped with a layup gave the hosts a 54-37 margin. Ewing downed a triple and a layup by Arturas Jomantas fixed the score at 56-40 after 30 minutes. Katelynas scored down low early in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Rasic gave Rytas a 61-42 margin with 7 minutes to go. Azovmash only managed to trade baskets now, as Rytas kept finding easy baskets. Seibutis hit a jumper and a fast break layup by Katelynas sealed the outcome, 65-44. Knowing that point difference can be a critical factor in this group, Rytas kept trying hard at both ends. Three-pointers by Roberts and Babrauskas and a layup by Paulius Dambrauskas allowed Rytas to seal a big home win in style.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011