A host that reached the Eurocup Finals in its first season last year turned back a newcomer aiming for similar success as Cedevita topped visiting F.C. Bayern Munich 70-64 on Tuesday in Zagreb, Croatia. Cedevita improved to 1-1 in Group G, while Munich falls to the same record. Munich took brief leads in the second and third quarters, but could never get ahead much on the scoreboard due to woeful 1-for-12 three-point shooting. Cedevita got 15 points and 4 assists from Dontaye Draper, last season's Eurocup MVP. Marino Bazdaric followed with 11 points, including a crucial three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter, while Chris Warren added 10 and 6 rebounds. For Munich, Chevon Troutman was the big gun with 18 points and 8 rebounds, but the lack of outside shooting and 20 turnovers hurt the visitors.
The teams exchanged leads and ties until baskets by Miro Bilan and Warren opened the first small lead, 10-6, for Cedevita. Draper soon upped the difference to 13-8, but Jan Jagla's triple helped keep Munich close. Little did the visitors know it would be their last good three-pointer in the game. Smodis answered him from downtown as the quarter closed with Cedevita still where it wanted to be, up 17-13 after 10 minutes. Despite Chris Owens giving Cedevita its biggest lead yet on the second quarter's first basket, Jonathon Wallace and Jagla reeled Munich closer. Troutman did the honors after that, with the tying and go-ahead baskets inside at 21-23. Steffen Hamann and Wallace made it a 0-12 Munich run the next two shots to go through. It took a three-pointer by Ivan Opacak to stop the bleeding for Cedevita, which soon mounted its own run of 10-2 to re-take the lead on a triple-shot by Draper and a three-point play the old-fashioned way by Owens. When Draper's layup on the buzzer fell through, Cedevita had a 33-30 halftime edge.
After the break, when Troutman twice pulled Munich within a point at the free throw line, Warren answered twice, with a triple and a dunk. Troutman was unstoppable, however, making his team's first 8 points of the half to keep Munich close at 40-38. When Wallace joined the free throw fun, with 3 out of 4, Munich had regained a lead, 40-41. The next seven possessions without a miss produced seven one-point lead changes, until Draper's three-pointer put Cedevita up 49-47. Opacak copied him and Draper returned with quarter-ending free throws for a 54-48 Cedevita lead after 30 minutes. Bazdaric's 5 points in a row, including a three-pointer at 61-54, seemed to keep Cedevita in control with 5 minutes left. But Munich wasn't going anywhere while Benzing added his sixth point of the quarter at the foul line to make it 62-58. When Troutman and Aleksandar Nadjfeji made consecutive layups, it was suddenly 64-62 with 2:38 left. Anybody's ballgame. Vedran Vukusic and Bazdaric spent the next minute making 4 of 4 free throws, however, while Munich suffered 2 misses, a turnover and a blocked shot. Warren took care of business at the foul line, too, as Cedevita got its name in the Group G win column.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011