Vujacic, Patterson lead Fiat past Rytas
7DAYS EuroCup newcomer Fiat Turin held off Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 83-77 on Wednesday night to register its second home win in the Top 16. Fiat improved to 2-1 to grab a share of the Group F lead, while Rytas dropped to 0-3 halfway through the stage. The hosts took control with a 15-0 second-quarter run behind Sasha Vujacic and Lamar Patterson and led 48-30 at halftime, but Rytas rallied after the break and came within 2 points in the fourth quarter. Diante Garrett stepped it up as the hosts pushed the lead back in to double figures and closed out the game. Vujacic paced the winners with 21 points and Patterson collected 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Garrett finished with 12 points and 6 assists in victory. Rokas Giedraitis scored 20 points for Rytas, Chris Kramer had 14 points and 8 assists, and Jimmy Baron netted 10 in defeat.
The two teams needed nearly three minutes to score the first basket of the game, before Vujacic’s four-point play got the scoreboard moving. Rytas scored the next 5 points behind Loukas Mavrokefalidis, before Fiat replied with a 12-1 run during which Washington hit a corner triple and Vujacic had a jumper and a three-point play. Giedraitis and Martynas Echodas got the Rytas offense going and the visitors cut the deficit to 18-14 after 10 minutes, before Giedraitis and Mindaugas Girdziunas each hit a triple to get the visitors within 22-20. But Antonio Iannuzzi scored inside and Andre Jones hit a long jumper to spark another Fiat run. Patterson and Garrett hit consecutive threes that helped increase the margin to 37-20. Mavrokefalidis snapped the 15-0 run and Giedraitis scored on a fast break. Arturas Jomantas scored twice for the visitors before the break, but Vujacic hit another triple and Patterson had three-point play that increased the lead to 48-30 at halftime.
Rytas quickly halved the deficit, as Mavrokefalidis, Giedraitis and Baron hit triples on three consecutive possessions to make it 51-41. Patterson and Vujacic combined to score 6 points and extend the margin, but Rytas got to the foul line often to put together a 0-8 run before Peterson nailed a corner triple to help get the visitors within 4. Fiat led 65-59 after three quarters, but Kramer and Butkevicius scored from close range to cut the deficit all the way to 65-63. However, Garrett got it going, taking it to the rim twice and adding a three-pointer, before David Okeke scored inside to extend the lead to 77-65 with three minutes remaining in the game. Vujacic pushed the margin to 13 and despite Baron hitting from long range and Kramer from close range, it was too little, too late for Rytas.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018