Asseco Prokom routed Unicaja 50-70
Asseco Prokom Gdynia registered one of its biggest victories ever and heightened its hopes of reaching the playoffs with a resounding 50-70 road win over Unicaja in Malaga, Spain on Wednesday. The victory kept Prokom a perfect 2-0 in Group G, tied for first place with CSKA Moscow, while dropping Unicaja to 0-2. Even though Prokom had won a Top 16 road game before, its 20-point margin was impressive coming a week after it beat Zalgiris by 24 to open this round. The fearsome Prokom defense held Unicaja to just 17 points after halftime as the hosts made just 13% of their three-point attempts (4 for 29) and just 28% of two-pointers (13 for 45). Prokom was led by Qyntel Woods, who scored 17 points, pulled 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots. Ronnie Burrell followed with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals, while Daniel Ewing dished 8 assists. Prokom's defense allowed only one Unicaja scorer to reach double digits on his home floor - Berni Rodriguez with 13 points - before a three-pointer on the final buzzer gave Omar Cook 10. Robert Archibald was the only other bright spots for the hosts, with 10 rebounds.
It was a dream start for the visitors as Jan Jagla rejected Archibald on the opening possession and Adam Hrycaniuk attacked the offensive glass for the game’s first basket. Jagla tacked on a basket and Hrycaniuk scored again before Woods wrapped up a 0-8 blitz that stunned the faithful fans in Malaga. After four-and-a-half scoreless minutes, Georgios Printezis’s steal and layup broke the ice for Unicaja. Cook penetrated twice to get his team in the game, but Ratko Varda scored 3 points the hard way and Woods added a pair of buckets to give Prokom a double-digit lead. Unicaja came back with a run of its own, started by a Carlos Jimenez triple and continued with Zab Dowdell and Joel Freeland to get within 13-17 after 10 minutes.
Burrell heated up at the start of the second quarter, striking from downtown and then making a three-point play to put Prokom ahead by 10 again13-23. Juan Dixon answered with a triple only to see Burrell connect again from downtown and David Logan score his first points at 16-28. Another basket by Printezis couldn't stop Prokom’s charge as Ewing fed Piotr Szczotka for a score and then drilled a three of his own to cap a 2-12 charge that made it 18-33. Dixon set Printezis up for a basket and Rodriguez scored from the line to revive the struggling hosts. Dixon’s steal and layup narrowed the gap to 9. Head coach Tomas Pacesas used a timeout to calm his charges and they came out of it with a Varda basket before Burrell took a steal coast to coast to keep Prokom in control. Unicaja did not give up though as Rodriguez scored from close range and, after Cook and Archibald made free throws, capped a 9-0 blitz with a triple at the buzzer to bring the hosts within 33-37 at the half.
Jagla corrected a Logan miss and then followed Jiri Welsch’s free throws with another basket as Prokom clung to its lead after halftime Two quick scores from Rodriguez and Printezis carried the hosts to within a basket. The Prokom defense intensified as the visitors began to believe in their chances. Both Woods and Archibald went to the line and made just 1 of 2 free throws, keeping the score close at the halfway mark of the quarter. Logan caught fire with 5 straight points as the visitors pulled away to 40-47. Prokom kept Unicaja scoreless for the final five minutes of the third quarter and Ewing dished to Woods who made it 40-49 heading into the fourth.
Three-point misses to open the final quarter boded worse for Unicaja than for Prokom as time ticked away on the hosts' comeback chances. More than 2 scoreless minutes went by before a reverse layup by Rodriguez re-started the scoreboard. Just as quickly, Jagla hit a soft hook for Prokom, but his intentional foul on Rodriguez trying to stop a fastbreak resulted in 2 free throws that got Unicaja within 44-51. Coming out of a timeout, Unicaja got the open three-pointer it wanted, but Jimenez missed, while at the other end, Ewing hit free throws. When Woods then blocked a shot and fed Varda for a dunk, the lead was up to double digits, 45-55. The misses kept piling up for Unicaja as the Hrycaniuk downed more free throws and Woods made a backdoor layup at 45-59. Unicaja tried one more timeout, with under 3 minutes left, but there was nothing doing for the hosts. A new turnover led to Logan scoring on the break. Even when Robert Archibald finally broke Unicaja's five-minute dry spell with a basket, Woods answered with an alley-oop fastbreak dunk and an inside turnaround at 47-67. Dueling triples by Burrell and Cook finished the game with Prokom not only enjoying a golden road win, but 20 huge points to protect when these teams meet again in Poland.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010