Unics Kazan scored a major road win by upsetting Montepaschi Siena 73-79 on Wednesday night behind monster games from Henry Domercant and Vladimir Veremeenko. With the win Unics tied Montepaschi for second place in Group D at 4-2, though the Italian champs hold a tiebreak advantage should they remain tied at the end of the regular season. Montepaschi led by 6 late in the third quarter, but Unics dominated the fourth quarter by surging ahead early and then limiting Siena to 12 fourth-quarter points. Domercant finished with 24 points and Veremeenko tallied 21 points and 10 rebounds in playing all 40 minutes for the winners. Lynn Greer added 12 off the bench. While Kazan benefitted from making 11 of 21 three-pointers (52.4%), Montepaschi, which entered the game second in the league in three-point percentage, made just 4 of 19 (21.0%). Bo McCalebb scored 22 to lead Siena before fouling out with two minutes to go. Rimantas Kaukenas added 13. Before the game the club honored retiring guard Terrell McIntyre, was twice an All-Euroleague First Team honoree during his four seasons in Siena.
It was all Montepaschi from the get-go with Shaun Stonerook, Kaukenas and David Andersen all getting on the scoreboard before Aleksey Savrasenko came through with Kazan’s maiden points. McCalebb got involved with a steal and layup and when David Moss scored, it made for a basket for each Siena starter inside of three minutes. Kaukenas upped the lead to 12-4 before Unics found its footing. Free throws by Petr Samoylenko and Domercant narrowed the gap before Unics really got going. Greer and Veremeenko teamed up for the next 6 points as the visitors completed a 0-9 charge to take the lead. McCalebb sliced the Unics defense to recharge the hosts, but a Domercant triple lifted the visitors to 14-18. McCalebb continued to try and take charge with a tough drive, but a Greer triple left Unics up 16-21 after 10 minutes.
Nikos Zisis and Igor Rakocevic helped Siena claw its way back early in the second quarter. Veremeenko silenced the crowd with a two-handed follow slam of a Samoylenko miss and then a tip-in of a Mike Wilkinson miss. Pietro Aradori tried to spark Siena with his first basket, but Greer nailed a three to go to 23-30 for the visitors. Tomas Ress brought a round of cheers with a three from the elbow and after a timeout, McCalebb narrowed the gap to 2 with a steal and two-handed dunk. McCalebb completed the comeback with a three-pointer, 31-30. Domercant matched him immediately and after 2 Zisis free throws, the score was even. Veremeenko scored again on the offensive glass and soon Wilkinson connected from behind the arc. But McCalebb willed Siena down the stretch with free throws and a tip-in of his own miss as the hosts climbed ahead by 3. Alas Wilkinson drilled a three that left the clubs on equal terms, 41-41, at halftime.
Kaukenas came out of the break firing with 5 quick points to the delight of the fans on hand. But Veremeenko soon evened the score with a basket-plus-foul. Domercant nailed a step-back triple that lifted Unics to 46-49. However an impressive Moss did the same and put the hosts ahead. McCalebb took a seat after picking up his third foul and Domercant and Greer kept Kazan within 1 with free throws. The Veremeenko continued his excellent evening with a bucket inside to put his team ahead once more. Ress countered with a triple from the corner to make it 57-55. Ksistof Lavrinovic was left unguarded in the paint for an easy score and then he swished a foul-line jumper to put Siena up 6, which caused Kazan coach Evgeny Pashutin to call timeout. Terrell Lyday free throws made it 61-57 at the end of the third quarter.
Domercant came out on fired a tough jumper over Moss to set the tone for the fourth quarter. Both teams missed open looks before Lyday tied the game at 61-61 with a drive through the lane. However Lyday then reached in on McCaleb and fouled out with eight minutes remaining. Samoylenko connected from downtown to give Unics a 63-64 lead and Veremeenko soon added a bucket. McCalebb danced his way to the basket, but Domercant lifted Kazan to 65-69 with a clutch triple midway through the fourth quarter. A basket inside from Veremeenko and from downtown by Domercant gave each 21 points and put 67-74 on the scoreboard. A McCalebb baseline drive followed by a brilliant defensive stand by Moss got the crowd going. And then McCalebb’s zip through the Unics defense for a basket-and-foul brought cheers throughout the arena. Andersen sank a baseline jumper to make it 73-75 with two minutes to go. Samoylenko drove to the basket and stuck McCalebb with his fifth foul. The free throws left Kazan up 4 and Siena without its go-to guy. Moss stopped Domercant with a steal, but Lavrinovic missed twice from the line and a Wilkinson offensive rebound helped the visitors kill the clock. Forced to foul, Montepaschi sent Domercant to the line with 42 seconds remaining and he obliged with 2 free throws to essentially wrap up the win.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011