Rudupis of Lithuanian made its Eurocup debut in high style on Tuesday by winning on the road against Dutch champions GasTerra Flames by 77-82 in Groningen, the Netherlands. Rudupis made an early move, using a 2-16 blast that opened the second quarter to take over the scoreboard and hold on for dear life as the Flames tried to come back late. Gediminas Orelik had 22 points, evenly split between the halves, to lead the visitors to victory. Simas Buterlevicius followed with 13 points, including 5 in the last 2 minutes. Dainius Salenga added 12 points, Gintaras Kadziulis and Povilas Butkevicius 10 each for the winners, while Edgaras Zelionis 9 ripped 11 rebounds. David Bell topped the Flames with 18 points, Jason Dourisseau added 16 and 9 rebounds, while Alexander Wesby chipped in 12 for the hosts. The ability of Rudupis to get to the foul line and make 24 of 34 free throws, as opposed to 14 of 25 for the Flames, was the difference in the end.
Wesby shot the Flames into the game's first lead of more than a basket, 10-7, as he and Dourisseau had 4 points each already. Orelik outpaced both, however, before Aidas Viskontas took a lead for Rudupis, 10-12, on a three-point play. Neither team could get ahead much until Orelik reached 10 points on a triple at 14-17, then Buterlevicius added 4 points to the Rudupis advantage. It took an Avis Wyatt three-pointer in last minute to keep the Flames within 19-22 at the end of one quarter. Rudupis poured it on with a triple from Zelionis to open the second quarter. Aidas Juskevicius soon copied him as the visitors locked down the Flames on the way to a huge 21-38 lead. David Bell gave the Flames a breath of air with 5 quick points, but the Lithuanian visitors still arrived to halftime with a comfortable 30-43 edge.
Kadziulis rocked a triple to open the second half before Bell and Wesby trimmed back the difference for the Flames to 34-46. Back-to-back dunks by Dourisseau and Wyatt suddenly had the Flames within 10 points, 40-50. Bell lowered the difference further, with a triple at 44-52, but Orelik returned with 6 points late in the third quarter and Kadzulis ended it with a basket to restore a double-digit, 50-61 lead for the visitors. A 7-0 run with 4 points by Dourisseau began the final quarter with the Flames getting closer than in some time, 57-61. The difference held at 4 points for several minutes, until Bell's layup cut it further, to 65-67. Rudupis held on with defense, however, as Salenga's 4 points in a row opened up a 67-73 difference. Free throws again got the Flames within 4 points, 71-75, but Buterlevicius knocked them back again with a triple. More free throws by Bell made it 75-78 but now Salenga and Buterlevicius were also perfect from the line in the final minute, preserving the victory for visiting Rudupis.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011