Asseco Prokom captured its first victory in the Euroleague Top 16 and ended a 12-game losing streak by cruising past Armani Jeans Milano 72-96. Both teams had already been eliminated from contention for the Quarterfinal Playoffs coming into the game. Prokom finished its Group E campaign with a 1-5 record while Milano was 2-4. The guests used a 4-16 run at the end of the first quarter to take control of the game. And the surge was 6-23 spanning the first two periods. Prokom then went on a 0-13 spurt in the second quarter before a 14-6 Milano answer before the break. The hosts would come within 8 points midway through the third period, but Prokom pulled away again and ended all doubts with a 0-11 run in the fourth quarter. Qyntel Woods paced Prokom with 23 points while Pat Burke had 15 points and 9 rebounds. Ronnie Burrell added 14 points, Daniel Ewing and David Logan both had 13 points and Tyrone Brazelton chipped in 10 points, 5 assists and 2 steals. Milano was led by 22 points from Jobey Thomas and Pape Sow added 18 points.
Burrell started the game with a free throw for the guests. Mike Hall hit the first basket of the game – a long three-pointer to make it 3-1. Burrell then knotted the game with a layup in the lane after a fine pass and Prokom jumped ahead on Ewing’s steal and fast break dunk. Sow’s bank shot off the glass evened things again before Ewing drained a three-ball. Ewing would then convert a layup off the window and Burke’s mid-range jumper gave the guests a 7-12 advantage. Luca Vitali cut that to 2 points with a long ball and 2 Sow foul shots had the hosts trailing 12-14. That’s when Prokom began pulling away. Burke threw down a dunk and Burrell followed with a follow dunk to push the lead to 6 points. Sow was the only thing working for Milano, but he was not enough as Logan drained a triple from the left wing. Burrell then hit a layup and was followed by Burke’s jumper and layup before Logan slashed into the lane to make it 16-30 after one period.
Burke continued his fine game at the start of the second quarter with a lay-in down low and Woods’s turn-around jumper pushed the gap to 16-34. Yohann Sangare’s 2 free throws got the hosts on the scoreboard before Woods knocked down a triple from the left wing for an 18-37 lead. Sangare responded with a three-ball and then Thomas hit a triple from the left corner following a steal as Milano pulled within 24-37. Prokom boss Tomas Pacesas immediately called a timeout to stop the hosts’ surge. Woods and Brazelton however responded with back-to-back three-balls before Burrell hit a tough layup and converted the three-point play. Prokom continued its push with Brazelton going coast to coast with a steal and dunk and then Brazelton fed Burrell with a no-look pass for a Burrell dunk to make it 24-50 to complete the 0-13 run. Thomas stopped the push with a three-ball from the right wing to start a Milano answer. Thomas also hit a tough layup and another three-pointer before Mindaugas Katelynas and Thomas finished fast breaks with layups to bring the margin to 34-56. After a Prokom timeout, Sow’s 2 foul shots made it 38-54 and complete the 14-6 run. And Filip Dylewicz’s offensive rebound put-back sent the teams to the intermission with the guests leading 38-56.
Burrell opened the second half with a mid-range jumper to reestablish a 20-point lead, 38-58. Hollis Price and Thomas answered with back-to-back triples to trim the gap to 44-58, forcing Pacesas to call another timeout. Both teams struggled with turnovers and offensive execution through Sow threw down a dunk to make it a 12-point game, 46-58. Logan made 2 free throws after an unsportsmanlike foul by Thomas and then Dylewicz made it a 4-point possession with a hook shot for a 46-62 cushion. The hosts, however, continued to chip away with Sow sandwiching 2 foul shots and a mid-range jumper around a Katelynas triple from the top of the key. Sow then found Thomas for a reverse layup to get the game into single digits at 55-64. The Milano big man had to go to the bench with his fourth foul and Burke’s long two-pointer made it a double-digit lead again. But another Katelynas triple had Milano within 58-66. Logan answered with a drive and layup and Woods made 2 free throws and the lead was 58-70. Milano hit the final basket of the third quarter with Vitali giving a fine no-look pass in the paint to Maurice Taylor for a dunk to make it 60-70 going into the fourth.
Brazelton started the fourth with a driving layup and converted the three-point play for a 60-73 advantage. Vitali brought the margin back to 10 points with a triple, 63-73. But Woods took over. He was the beneficiary of a fine pass by Brazelton for a layup and then Woods knocked down a triple and the lead was back to 63-78. Woods hit 2 more free throws and an inside baskets as the lead grew back to 63-84 – completing a 0-11 run. Thomas’s jumper in the lane stopped the run and Sangare’s triple made it 68-86. But Woods hit a baseline jumper to make it a 20-point game again. And Logan, Przemyslaw Zamojski and Ewing finished the game with foul shots down the stretch.
Thursday, March 12, 2009