Benetton took sole possession of second place in Group G by downing Cedevita 82-68 at home Tuesday night in Treviso, Italy. The Italian side improved its record to 2-2. The hosts raced to a 22-4 start and Cedevita was forced to play catch up. The visitors cut the lead to 51-44 in the third quarter before Benetton pulled away again. Alessandro Gentile paced Benetton with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Etwaun Moore added 17 points for the winners. Cedevita, which fell to 1-3, was paced by Dontaye Draper with 17 points.
Gentile put Benetton in the scoring column by hitting all 7 of its opening points, as the host took an early 7-2 lead. Moore added a triple and Gino Cuccarolo dunked to add to the margin and push the score to 12-2. A steal and dunk by Cedevita’s Chris Warren ended the surge, but the home side soon added 10 more points, including triples by Vlad Moldoveanu and Gentile, to balloon the lead to 22-4. A jumper by Moldoveanu and layup by Jeff Adrien combined with Cedevita free throws set the score at 26-7 to end the first quarter. Then the visitors tallied four straight two-pointers along with free throws to cut the lead to single digits 26-17, as the game suddenly turned more competitive. Adrien split free throws for Benetton’s first score of the quarter, then Gentile added a layup and Massimo Bulleri nailed a two-pointer from outside, as the hosts regained their composure and a double-digit lead 31-17. Draper got his first field goal of the game, followed by a jumper by Chris Owens to cut the lead to 32-23. Foul shots plus a pair of baskets each by Moore and Draper ended the first half with Benetton on top 39-27.
After free throws from Benetton and an exchange of baskets in the paint, Marino Bazdaric knocked down a triple and a layup to slice the lead to 45-34. Moore’s jumper answered Miro Bilan’s dunk, then Bazdaric stayed in the zone with another triple that cut the lead to 47-39. The scoring pace quickened as Adrien and Draper swapped layups, followed by another two-pointer by Moore and a three-pointer by Warren that reduced the deficit to 51-44. Bulleri held off the rally with a three-pointer of his own, which Bilan soon answered with a dunk and foul shot, but then Moldoveanu layed it in as Benetton kept Cedevita at arm’s length, 56-47. A series of foul shots by both sides and a triple by Sani Becirovic ended the third quarter with the hosts leading 61-51. Each team added only 2 points after two minutes in the final quarter, but then Becirovic and Bulleri drilled three-pointers and extended Benetton’s lead to 69-53. Draper got one of the triples back, but then Bulleri put in a layup and set the score at 74-56. After Cedevita went on 0-8 run, Gentile and Moore hit back-to-back threes to put the hosts comfortably on top again, 80-64, en route to the win.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011