Montepaschi Siena beat Partizan mt:s 58-66
Montepaschi Siena registered its first win in Top 16 Group G by downing Partizan Belgrade 58-66 in front of 19,255 fans at Belgrade Arena. Siena improved to 1-2 and third place in Group G, one win away from Efes Pilsen, second at 2-1. Meanwhile, Partizan dropped 0-3 and lost saw its chances to make it to the Quarterfinal Playoffs dwindle. Montepaschi never trailed and with its ferocious defense forced 22 turnovers. The Italian champs built a double-digit lead in the second quarter before breaking the game open using an 11-2 run in the beginning of the fourth quarter with Andrea Michelori and Rimantas Kaukenas scoring all the points. Michelori was the visitor’s top scorer with 15 points and 5 rebounds, Kaukenas scored 14, Nikos Zisis finished with 13 and Marco Carraretto added 10 points. James Gist finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds for Partizan and Curtis Jerrells scored 13.
Kaukenas opened the scoring with a tough lay-up, and a tip-in by Milovan Rakovic gave the visitors an early 0-4 lead. Partizan did not have a shot attempt in first two minutes of the game but then a monster dunk by Jan Vesely put them on the scoreboard. Rasko Katic’s easy layup tied the game, before a layup and a three-pointer by Zisis put Siena up 4-9 after five minutes. Gist scored 4 points for Partizan, but Shaun Stonerook’s three-pointer, his first in the Top 16 this season, and jumpers by Zisis and Carraretto widened the margin to 10-17. The home side cut the deficit to 2 with Jerrells making 2 free throws and Vesely hitting a three-pointer, his first three-pointer of the Top 16 as well, only for Marko Jaric to hit a jumper in the last second of the quarter to end the quarter at 15-19.
In the first seven minutes of the second quarter, Kaukenas was the only player who managed to score points. He opened the scoring in the second quarter with a lay-up, and four minutes later added two long-range jumpers. That gave Siena its first double-digit lead, 15-25, but also proved to be the last field goals by the visitors in the first half. On the other side, Partizan’s offense got completely shut down by the excellent defense of the Italian champs as they failed to score a single point in the quartet for exactly 7 minutes and 24 seconds before Gist hit a three-pointer to end that drought. Still, in the next 47 seconds, Jerrells squeezed in a layup and Vesely added a dunk after a steal by Gist to cut the lead to 22-27. Another three by Gist pulled Partizan within 3 points, but Michelori and Kaukenas hit their free throws to maintain the lead and end the half up 26-31.
Montepaschi lengthened that lead in the opening two minutes of the second half with baskets by David Moss and Stonerook, while forcing Partizan into 4 turnovers. Petar Bozic’s three-pointer opened the scoring for Partizan in the second half, but Siena forced more turnovers, with the last one launching Carrareto into the fast break for a layup and 30-39 lead. He hit another two jumpers and Zisis made a three-pointer to extend the lead twice to 10 points. Vladimir Lucic and Dragan Milosavljevic scored three-pointers to stop Siena from running away with an even bigger lead and at the same time cutting the deficit to 5, but Michelori scored twice to give Montepaschi a 41-50 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The lead went up to 43-55 after Michelori scored inside on a three-point play and Kaukenas hit a tough short-jumper on a fast break. Two free throws by the same player gave Siena a 13-point lead and Michelori added a basket and a free throw for 45-61. With the faithful Grobari never stopping signing, Katic scored inside and Jerrells and Milosavljevic made 5 of 6 free throws to get the home side closer, to 53-63, but never closer until Gist hit his third three-pointer in the last minute for the final score 58-66.
Thursday, February 3, 2011