Montepaschi edges Maccabi in thriller
Montepaschi Siena extended its Turkish Airlines winning streak to four games in beating Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 89-87 at home in a thrilling showdown in Group B. Bobby Brown scored 16 points and dished 6 assist, but Daniel Hackett and Tomas Ress were the heroes late. Hackett tallied 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Ress 10 of his 12 points in the final period for the hosts, who improved to 4-3 in the group. Kristjan Kangur also scored 12 points and Mario Kasun chipped in 10 points off the bench for Siena, which nailed 13 of 27 three-pointers. Maccabi dropped its second straight game to fall to 5-2 despite a 22-point, 12-rebound showing by Shawn James – for a 39 performance index rating– while Lior Eliyahu scored 19 points. Ricky Hickman scored 13 points and both Devin Smith and Yogev Ohayon added 10 points for the Israeli champs.
First quarter: Siena three-pointers keep hosts in game
Siena coach Luca Banchi started the same five players from last week’s win at Alba Berlin in Brown, Viktor Sanikidze, Benjamin Ortner, Matthew Janning and David Moss. His counterpart David Blatt swapped one player with Eliyahu starting for Nik Caner-Medley alongside James, Smith, Hickman and Ohayon. Eliyahu began the scoring for the guests and was followed by a triple from Moss from the other end. Eliyahu converted a three-point play and a steal and layup by Hickman pushed the early Maccabi advantage to 3-7. Two Ortner baskets sandwiched around a James layup had Siena within 7-9 but Smith hit a finger roll for a 7-11 Maccabi advantage. Brown nailed his first shot of the game from long range to trim the game to 10-11 but Smith answered with a triple from the left corner. Janning knocked down a long ball of his own to keep Siena with 13-14. But Ohayon was on target from long range to restore the 13-17 advantage. Brown scored a breakaway layup and Ress tipped in a miss as Siena remained close 17-19. A Janning triple and free throw evened the game at 21-21. James finished off the scoring in the first quarter with two free throws as Maccabi was ahead 21-23 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Neither team could pull away
James started the scoring in the second quarter with a putback of an offensive rebound and David Logan’s jumper in the lane extended the lead to 21-27. Kasun threw down a dunk for Siena on the one end but was called for an unsportsmanlike foul at the other end with James’ free throw making it 23-28. Marco Carraretto and Smith swapped jumpers as Maccabi remained ahead by five, 25-30. But Siena continued its fine shooting from outside with Kangur nailing a three-ball and Kasun throwing down an alley-oop pass from Brown to knot things at 30-30. Ohayon drained a long ball but Brown began to heat up offensively, with an inside jumper and a drive and scoop layup to give Siena the lead 34-33. A Giorgi Shermandini dunk temporarily gave Maccabi back the lead before two Brown foul shots and a triple from the left wing by Kangur for a 39-35 Montepaschi cushion. Blatt called a timeout and James responded with a hook shot and dunk and then Hickman picked the pocket of Hackett on the press and threw down a dunk for a 39-41 Maccabi lead. Siena, however, finished the first half strong with another Kangur triple and Moss converting on a pass from Brown just before the buzzer after a block by Ress on Canar-Medley to send the hosts into the locker rooms ahead 44-41 at the break.
Third quarter: James and Eliyahu keep Maccabi ahead
James opened the second half with a three-point play and Janning picked up Siena’s first basket to give the hosts the lead 46-44. James took over the game with three straight scores for a 46-50 Maccabi lead. Two consecutive baskets by Eliyahu pushed the advantage to 48-54 and another score by the Israeli international left it 50-56. Brown answered with a three-point play and Kasun’s dunk made it 55-58. But Hickman nailed a triple to re-establish a six-point gap 55-61. Kasun and Eliyahu swapped inside scores and both teams hit one more basket each as Maccabi led 59-65 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Hackett, Ress carry Siena to win
Moss opened the fourth quarter with a jumper and a Kangur triple made it a one-point game 64-65. Guy Pnini answered for Maccabi by converting a three-point play and Hickman hit a tough basket to push the lead back to six points, 64-70. Hackett nailed a three-pointer to start his impressive fourth quarter, which included a driving layup over James and after an inside basket by Kasun a triple from the left wing to give Siena a 74-72 lead. Malcolm Thomas and Eliyahu hit for Maccabi but Ress and Hackett drained long balls to keep Siena ahead 80-78. Hickman tied the game as did Eliyahu then with two foul shots to make it 82-82. But Ress made a three-pointer from the right wing and then converted a driving layup with 18 seconds left to give Siena an 87-82 lead. Eliyahu put back an offensive rebound and then Smith banked in a three ball off the glass at the buzzer to cut the final margin to two points – 89-87.
Friday, November 23, 2012