Szolnoki Olaj claims maiden road win in Vilnius
Szolnoki Olaj held off Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 98-99 to climb into a tie for third place in Group E. Szolnoki won its this straight game – and first on the road – to improve to 3-4. The loss dropped Rytas to 2-5, though its 24-point victory over Szolnoki in Round 2 leaves the potential head-to-head tiebreaker with Rytas. The visitors scored the first 10 points of the game and led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter. Nicolas Laprovittola keyed a late run to get the hosts within 1, but ran out of time. Strahinja Milosevic paced Szolnoki with 22 points, David Vojvoda shot 5 for 6 from downtown in scoring 20 points, Kyryl Natyazhko tallied 17 points and 7 rebounds and Krisztian Wittmann recorded 15 points and 4 steals. Laprovittola finished with 26 points and 7 assists, Gediminas Orelik scored 19, Marius Runkauskas made 4 of 5 threes for 15 points, Arturas Gudaitis added 14 and Deividas Gailius had 12 in defeat.
Szolnoki came out to a red-hot start; Aaron Craft started things with a three-pointer and Vojvoda’s three capped a 0-10 opening run. After an early timeout, Laprovittola got Rytas on the scoreboard, but Milosevic added a three for an 11-point Szolnoki lead. Julius Jucikas scored twice for Rytas, but Szolnoki had an answer to nearly every basket. A Laprovittola three made it 11-19 and threes by Gailius – with another by Wittmann in between – got the hosts within 7. A second Wittmann triple restored a double-digit difference before Arturas Gudaitis ended the first quarter at 23-31. Natyazhko scored the first 5 points of the second quarter to boost the visitors’ lead to 13. Runkauskas drew Rytas within 28-37 and before long Orelik and Laprovittola rallied the hosts to 34-39. Vojvoda connected twice from downtown over the next two minutes and Akos Keller added another triple to make it 39-49. Orelik halved the difference by scoring the next 5 points, but Milosevic and Vojvoda – the latter with his fourth three-pointer – gave Szolnoki a 45-54 halftime lead.
Free throws by Gailius helped Rytas get closer and an Orelink triple brought the hosts to 54-58. But in two minutes, Szolnoki was up by 11 after Natyazhko’s basket-plus-foul. Milosevic further extended the lead to 57-72 with a free throw with a little more than two minutes left in the third quarter. An 8-0 blitz in the last minute of the quarter that featured threes by Runkauskas and Laprovittola drew Rytas within 70-76. Triples by Natyazhko and Oleksandr Lypovyy helped Szolnoki establish a 76-84 cushion, however that nearly disappeared after Runkauskas hit his fourth three-pointer and Laprovittola added free throws. Vojvoda’s next three made it 81-87 with five minutes remaining, however Ksistof Lavrinovic and Laprovittola had the crowd on its feet with buckets to get within 2. Milosevic scored the next 4 points for a 6-point lead with two minutes remaining. It was 88-92 entering the final minute after a basket by Gudaitis and despite free throws by Peter Kovacs and Wittmann, Rytas got threes from Orelik and Laprovittola. Thelate rally saw Rytas twice come within 1 thanks to Laprovittola, but ultimately Rytas ran out of time.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015