Montepaschi Siena crushed Asseco Prokom 53-79
Montepaschi Siena finished the regular season with another strong defensive showing by crushing host Asseco Prokom 53-79 in Gdynia, Poland, on the final day of the regular season in Group D. It was the fourth straight victory for the depleted by injuries Italian champions, who already secured second place in Group D even before the game, and finished the regular season with an 8-2 record. Siena used its defense for 2-15 run during the last eight minutes of the first half to open up a double-digit lead, and then had a huge fourth quarter that broke the game open. Pietro Aradori led Siena with 23 points and 7 rebounds, both career-highs. Igor Rakocevic added 9, and David Andersen had 6 points and 7 rebounds as all 11 visiting players scored. Prokom finished its Euroleague campaign with a 1-9 record that put them in fifth place in Group D. Adam Hrycaniuk had 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Przemylasw Zamojski finished with 12 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting.
Siena opened the game very strong and converted its first four possessions. Andersen started it off making a baseline jumper, then Andrea Michelori hit his long jumper, Bootsy Thornton scored in the high post and Nikos Zisis drilled a jumper for a 0-8 lead with less than three minutes gone. Only after home head coach Tomas Pacesas called a timeout, a Zamojski three-pointer opened the account for the home side. Oliver Lafayette cut the lead to 5-8, but Michelori made an easy layup and a jump shot from Marco Carraretto put Siena up by 7. Carraretto followed it up with a steal for an easy fast break layup and a 5-14 advantage. Zamojski hit his second three to stop the visitors’ run. Andersen split free throws and Hrycaniuk scored twice to cut the lead to 12-15. Donatas Motiejunas made a layup assisted by Jerel Blessingame, and Hrycaniuk delivered soon after to tie the game for the first time. But Aradori’s baseline jumper made it 16-18 to end the first quarter.
Tomas Ress and Aradori kept Siena in front at the beginning of the second quarter, while Zamojski with a three and Motiejunas with a floater kept Prokom close. The visitors then stepped up on defense leaving Prokom without a single field goal for the remainder of the second quarter. On the other side, Rakocevic started a Siena run with a runner going through the rim with a little help from the backboard, and Ress followed it up with a three-pointer. Aradori then split free throws and hit a floater off the glass to put Montepaschi up 21-30. Piotr Szczotka hit 2 free throws to end Prokom’s draught, but Rakocevic hit a three for Motenpaschi’s first 10-point lead of the game. After couple of turnovers on both sides, Aradori made a reverse layup and his free throws 14 seconds before the end of the half gave Siena a 23-37 halftime lead.
Both teams showed offensive struggles at the start of the third quarter, with only Shaun Stonerook and Hrycaniuk able to score in the opening three minutes. Prokom then got the offensive spark from Lafayette and Fedor Dmitirev who both scored in transition to cut the lead to 29-39. With another two minutes without any field goals, Rakocevic assisted Stonerook for an alley-oop dunk and Rakocevic hit a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to give Siena their first 15-point lead of the game, 31-46. After a timeout, Hrycaniuk scored back-to-back basket-plus-fouls, and Lukasz Seweryn baseline jumper making it a quick 8-0 run that cut Prokom’s deficit in half. Michelori hit both free throws on one side and Dmitriev on the other, before David Moss was successful on the offensive glass to score his first points of the game. Still, it was Zamojski with his fourth three-pointer who made it 44-50 at the end of three squarters.
Aradori scored a layup and a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter, while Lafayette and Adam Lapeta each made 2 free throws to keep Prokom close. Moss scored again inside and Aradori first split free throws and then hit another three to put Siena up 48-61 with little over 6 minutes to go. Luca Lechthaler went to the charity stripe twice and made all four shots, and Thornton scored on a fast break to make it 48-67. Szczotka basket-plus-foul ended visitors’ 0-12 run, but Siena was not letting down defensively. In the final three minutes of the game Moss, Aradori, Ress and Thornton extended the lead to the final margin.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011