Karsiyaka downs Rytas, stays alive
Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir advanced to the Eurocup Quarterfinals for the first time in club history by downing Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 97-81 at home on Wednesday. Series was tied after Game 1, turning tonight's showdown into a make-or-break battle in which Karsiyaka prevailed. Jon Diebler led the winners with 26 points. Bobby Dixon added 14, D.J. Strawberry had 13, 5 assists and 5 steals while Erkan Veyseloglu got 10 points for Karsiyaka. Gediminas Orelik led Rytas with 22 points. Martynas Gecevicius added 17 while Zygimantas Janavicius had 11 for the guests. A 9-0 run which Kenny Gabriel capped with a three-pointer gave Karsiyaka a 18-11 lead. Karsiyaka boosted its margin to 38-24 midway through the second quarter and found a go-to guy in Diebler, who had 15 points in 4 minutes to give the hosts a 53-34 lead at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Karsiyaka boosted its margin to 65-42 and then again to 89-64 early in the fourth quarter, enough to seal the outcome and make it to the next round.
Dixon got Karsiyaka going with a three-pointer. Janavicius made free throws and a triple by Orelik gave Rytas its first lead, 3-5. Baris Hersek followed a layup with a fast break slam but a three-point play by Orelik restored a 7-8 Rytas edge. Hersek dunked again, Janavicius struck from downtown but 6 unanswered points - including 2 dunks - by Strawberry ignited the crowd at 15-11. Gabriel capped a 9-0 run with a three-pointer, as free throwd by Adas Juskevicius kept Rytas within 18-13. Veyseloglu hit a six-meter jumper to fix the score at 20-13 after 10 minutes. Gecevicius hit a three-pointer early in the second quarter. Veyseloglu answered from downtown, igniting a 7-0 run highlighted by Gabriel's dunk. Travis Leslie stepped up with a layup that Strawberry bettered with a triple. Orelik, Veyseloglu, Leslie and Hersek also hit shots from beyond the arc and another dunk by Strawberry made it a 14-point series, 38-24. Diebler sank foul shots and soon added a jumper, a dunk and three bombs from downtown to break the series open, 53-34, at halftime.
Antanas Kavaliauskas dunked immediately after the break and a three-pointer by Gecevicius gave Rytas hope at 56-39. Diebler answered from downtown and a dunk by Strawberry made it a 22-point game, 61-39. Gecevicius insisted from beyond the arc, Diebler made free throws and a layup by Juan Palacios made the guests call timeout at 65-42. Mindaugas Lukauskis and Janavicius joined the three-point shootout but Cemal Nalga and Palacios kept the hosts way ahead, 71-50. Gecevicius hit another triple and Lukauskis added an acrobatic layup but Karsiyaka started to get the foul line often and a layup by Sonen Senturk gave the hosts a 78-57 edge. Another basket by Veyseloglu restored an 80-59 margin after 30 minutes. Rytas struggled to score early in the fourth quarter while a dunk by Gabriel and back-to-back triples by Dixon sealed the outcome, 89-64. Rytas kept trying in the final 5 minutes but all Karsiyaka had plenty of time to celebrate that their team will keep fighting for Eurocup glory!
Wednesday, March 11, 2015