Banvit beats Olimpija, ends two-game skid
Banvit Bandirma moved up to 2-1 in difficult Group M by topping Union Olimpija Ljubljana 81-65 at home on Wednesday. Banvit joins Budivelnik Kiev in a two-way tie for second place in Group M each with a 2-2 record, with Olimpija right behind at 1-3. Banvit also got the tie-break advantage against Olimpija, that got an 84-80 win in Ljubljana last week. E.J. Rowland led the winners with 22 points. Chuck Davis added 14, Sammy Mejia had 11 while Keith Simmons got 10 for Banvit. Deividas Gailius led Olimpija with 27 points. Dino Muric had 11 for the guests. A layup by Alen Omic kept Olimpija within 9-8 early in the game. Rowland, Davis and Safak Edge fueled a 14-1 run that gave the hosts a 23-9 lead late in the first quarter. Davis shined with consecutive three-point plays to boost Banvit's lead to 35-13. Muric, Cedric Jackson and Gailius brought Olimpija back to life, 43-34, at halftime. An outstanding Gailius allowed Olimpija to get as close as 50-45 midway through the first quarter but Ermal Kuqo led an 8-0 run that boosted Banvit's lead to 58-45. Nothing changed from that moment, as Banvit kept a solid lead from that moment until the final buzzer.
Rowland got Banvit going with a layup that Dragisa Drobnjak bettered with a triple for a 2-3 Olimpija edge. Alade Aminu and Erkan Veyseloglu stepped up for Banvit in a 7-1 run that gave the hosts a 9-4 lead. Jackson and Omic stepped up with consecutive layups but a three-pointer by Rowland and a jumper by Mejia kept Banvit way ahead, 14-8. Alex Stephenson split foul shots but Rowland, Edge and Klemen Prepelic allowed the hosts to get a double-digit margin, 21-9. Davis hit a jumper that capped a 14-1 run, as free throws by Gailius fixed the score at 23-11 after 10 minutes. Simmons and Gailius exchanged baskets early in the second quarter and a three-point play by Davis broke the game open, 28-13. Rowland followed a jumper with a layup off a steal and another layup-plus-foul by Davis made it a 22-point game, 35-13. Muric tried to change things with 4 quick points and Nebojsa Joksimovic brought Olimpija within 37-20. Jackson kept pacing the guests and got plenty of help from Muric and Gailius to bring Olimpija within single digits, 43-34, at halftime.
Back-to-back jumpers by Gailius and Muric made it a five-point game, 43-38, right after the break. Veyseloglu and a red hot Gailius traded three-pointers but Mejia and Davis gave Banvit some fresh air at 50-41. Gailius made free throws and a jumper by Muric kept Olimpija within 50-45. It didn't last long, however, as consecutive baskets by Kuqo ignited an 8-0 run that Mejia capped with a jumper for a 58-45 Banvit lead. Gailius took over with back-to-back triples and Omic hit a jumper but Rowland and Mejia gave Banvit a 63-55 lead after 30 minutes. Simmons scored early in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Rowland made it a 13-point game, 68-55. Simmons and Jackson traded baskets and a put-back layup by Davis broke the game open, 72-57, with 7 minutes left. Sasu Salin hit a three-pointer but Rowland and Simmons allowed Banvit to seal the outcome, 76-60. Gailius kept trying hard but Banvit had already cruised to an important win.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014