Another would-be Last 16 qualifier was denied and Group C became a battle to the finish as Rudupis ambushed previously undefeated CEZ Nymburk 80-83 on the road in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The Lithuanian squad evened its record at 2-2 behind 19 points and 5 assists by Gintaris Kadziulis, including 3-for-5 accuracy from downtown. Arminas Urbutis added 17 points and 11 rebounds for a huge double-double. Dainius Salenga added 14 points and Gediminas Orelik 11, including a key three-point play in the waning seconds. Nymburk, whose record fell to 3-1, lost its chance to qualify early for the Last 16. The hosts were led by Petr Benda, who knocked down 24 points. Adrian Abrams added 17 poins and Drew Naymick 14 for Nymburk. Rudupis secured the win with superior three-point shooting, making 8 of 26 compared with 3 of 17 by the hosts.
After some back-and-forth scoring, Nymburk got out front as Lamayne Wilson downed a triple give the hosts a 9-7 lead. That's when Benda got hot for Nymburk, hitting the team’s next 9 points, while Urbitas knocked down 5 points for Rudupis, pushing the score to 18-14. Both teams worked the paint, as Naymick hit a layup and slammed home a dunk, while Edgaras Zelionis layed it in with a 1 second on the clock to end the first quarter 22-18. Kadziulis opened the second-quarter scoring for Rudupis from downtown, but Naymick scored again inside and outside to give Nymburk a little daylight, 26-21. Layups by Justas Sinica and Urbutis answered 3 foul shots by Abrams as Rudupis sliced the deficit to 29-26. Free throws and a three-pointer by Orelik gave Rudupis the lead briefly, but Eugene Lawrence canned a jumper to give it back to Nymburk at 31-30. Rudupis surged again on Salenga’s triple and Sinica’s layup to go up 31-36. Wilson and Lawrence kept Nymburk close with layups, but Urbutis accounted for the final 5 points as Rudupis claimed a 35-41 lead at the half.
Nymburk’s Tre Simmons drilled a jumper to open the second-half scoring before Orelik answered from the arc to set the score at 37-44. Benda got his rhythm back with a layup that cut the lead to 41-46, but Kadziulis knocked down free throws and Salenga a triple as Rudupis took its first double-digit margin, 43-53. Free throws by both teams and a Kadziulis triple pushed the margin to 45-57. After back-and-forth scoring, Benda banked in a layup and Abrams drained a triple to narrow the margin to single digits, 55-61. Nymburk kept chipping away as Abrams scored 4 more on free throws and a jumper, bringing the hosts to within 59-61. The next points belonged to Rudupis, however, on Salenga free throws and Sinica's three-pointer, leaving the visitors up 59-66 after three quarters. A four-point surge by Nymburk was answered by a layup from Aidas Biskontas that Rudupis up 63-68 early in the final quarter. After an exchange of free throws, Kadziulis drained a big three-pointer for Rudupis at 67-72. The scoring resumed inside for both teams, pushing the score to 71-74, followed by a more than two-minute offensive lull. Salenga and Orelik hit two-pointers that seemed to settle it for Rudupis, but Michal Kremen drilled a three-pointer as Nymburk stayed in the hunt, 74-78. After swapping points inside, Nymburk crept close on free throws, 78-80, with 42 seconds to go. But Rudupis knocked down the last basket, a layup by Orelik with a free throw on the foul, to ice the outcome and pack up the victory for a return trip to Lithuania.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011