Kalise Gran Canaria sent a message that echoed all around the continent by downing Lietuvos Rytas 94-83 at home in Group E on Tuesday. All four teams in Group E - Gran Canaria, L. Rytas, Azovmash and Asvel Basket - are tied at 1-1. Joel Freeland paced the winners with 20 points on 9-for-11 two-pointers. Carl English added 19, Melvin Sanders had 17 while Marcus Norris got 11 for Gran Canaria. Chuck Eidson led L. Rytas with 27 points. Marijonas Petravicius added 20 while Branko Milisavljevic had 12 for the guests. Gran Canaria bounced back from an early start, as three-pointers by Sanders gave the hosts a 23-17 edge. Eidson singlehandedly brought the guests within 25-23 after 10 minutes. Gran Canaria rolled in the second quarter, as Sanders, Freeland and English allowed the hosts to boost their margin to 56-41 at halftime. Gran Canaria held off a shy L. Rytas rally after the break to keep a 74-59 margin after 30 minutes. Milisavljevic, Petravicius and Eidson got L. Rytas within 89-83 with a minute to go but English sealed the outcome with a bomb from downtown.
Milisavljevic got L. Rytas going with a six-meter jumper that Freeland matched with a power layup. Petravicius and Eidson stepped up with consecutive baskets but a three-pointer by Jim Moran put Gran Canaria back ahead, 7-6. Milko Bjelica and Freeland traded baskets while Donatas Zavackas sank free throws to make L. Rytas regain a 9-10 edge. James Augustine followed a layup with a put-back dunk while Sanders struck twice from downtown for a 23-17 Gran Canaria lead. Eidson shined with a layup and an off-balance jumper and soon added free throws to keep L. Rytas within 25-23 after 10 minutes. Sanders stayed on fire with 6 points in a 8-0 run that made it a double-digit game, 33-23. Petravicius stepped with a layup-plus-foul off a L. Rytas timeout but English took over with consecutive triples to keep Granca way ahead, 42-30. Petravicius and Zavackas tried to change things but Freeland took over with consecutive dunks in a 10-0 run that gave Gran Canaria a 19-point Gran Canaria margin, 54-35. Eidson and Petravicius got L. Rytas within 56-41 at halftime.
Bjelica, Eidson and Milisavljevic fueled a 0-8 run that got L. Rytas within 56-49 right after the break. A put-back basket by Freeland and a three-point play by Sanders gave Gran Canaria some fresh air, 61-51. Sanders took over with a coast-to-coast layup while Freeland scored inside to restore a 14-point Gran Canaria lead, 65-51. Eidson and Petravicius kept trying to change things but Freeland and Daniel Kickert boosted the hosts' lead to 74-57. Free throws by Eidson fixed the score at 74-59 after 30 minutes. L. Rytas needed a miracle comeback to return to the game and Michailas Asiminovas tried to ignite it with a fast break layup. Eidson added a triple and then followed Anisimovas' tip-in with another bomb from downtown to get the guests within 76-70 with 6 minutes to go. Freeland and Anisimovas traded layups while English restored a 80-72 Granca edge. Petravicius and Milisavljevic kept L. Rytas in the game but free throws by Norris allowed the hosts to keep a 86-78 margin with 2 minutes to go. A triple by Morris sealed the outcome, 89-80, as L. Rytas ran out of time.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008