Montepaschi blasted Union Olimpija 79-57
Montepaschi Siena outclassed Union Olimpija in their Group D matchup in Siena’s Palaestra Arena, 79-57, behind Bo McCalebb’s game-leading 17 points. Ksistof Lavrinovic put in 12 points and David Moss added 10 for the winners, who improved to 2-0. Montepaschi dominated early by racing to a 26-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, during which Moss hit all 10 of his points. The momentum shifted radically in the second quarter as Siena eased up and started to miss shots, which allowed the visitors to pull within 38-27. Olimpija continued to chip away in the third quarter and cut the lead to 7 at one points. But that only served as a wake-up call for Montepaschi, which seemed able to turn it on at will. Olimpija had its chances to get back in, but its 23 turnovers and inconsistent shooting put the brakes on another comeback. Davis Bertans led Olimpija with 12 points and Robert Rothbart and Ratko Varda added 7 each as Olimpija dropped to a 0-2 start to its season.
Montepaschi took over right away, going out front 6-2 on David Andersen’s left-handed layin. The hosts stepped on the gas from there, putting Olimpija on its heels. Moss found the hot hand, but most of Siena’s starters got in the scoring column as the Italian champs rolled over the visitors. Rimantas Kaukenas buried a triple and then Moss hit two more from downtown as the lead inflated to 21-2. The visitors finally got on the scoreboard again at the 1:44 mark when Danny Green converted on 2 foul shots. The quarter ended on an 2-pointer from the corner by Shaun Stonerook and a layin by Ksistof Lavrinovic as Siena exercised total control, 26-4.
A Deon Thompson dunk and a twisting drive and layup by Jaka Blazic served notice that Olimpija was not going to roll over. Then Bertrans scored the next 8 points for the visitors, followed by a Dino Muric layup , eating into the lead even more, 32-18, as Siena turned human again and suffered turnovers and missed shots. McCalebb and Lavrinovic answered to restore calm for Siena, 35-19, but the visitors kept digging. Ben Woodside and Rothbart both entered the scoring column with layups, as the lead dropped to 36-24. McCalebb went coast-to-coast for another layup, but the next 5 points belonged to Olimpija on free throws and a Bertrans put-back on the offensive board, as the visitors cut the deficit to 28-39 at the half.
Andersen and Varda exchanged layups, as a back-and-forth offensive rhythm took over. McCalebb took it all the way for another layup, then Woodside dished to Damir Makota for a dunk , 42-33. Ljubljana got to within 7 for the first time since the opening minutes on a Varda layup. But Siena kept its cool as Kaukenas answered with a layin, 44-35, then turned up the defense, shifting to a 3-2 zone. Anderson hit a mid-range shot off a loose ball, then Blazic nailed a fade away in the paint to stop Siena’s momentum, 50-38. But Montepaschi stayed focused as McCalebb came up with a three and Kaukenas scored on fast break after a Ljubljana turnover. A Markota dunk ended the third quarter at 61-40 as Siena returned to the same 21-point from the end of the opening quarter.
A free throw by Blazic and 2-pointer by Aleksandar Capin gave Olimpija the first 3 points of the last quarter, but McCalebb answered with a long jumper. An effective Bertrans went all the way for a dunk. After nearly a minute of scoreless play, Lavrinovic split a free throw to make it 64-45. Rothbart and Pietro Aradori then provided the next 8 points for their respective teams, as each scored twice on strong inside plays. Three-pointers by Lavrinovic and Tomas Ress ballooned Siena’s lead to 77-51 with 1:37 left. The last 4 points of the game went Olimpija’s way as Capin nailed a pull-up jumper at the key and Thompson scored on a fastbreak, but it was too little, too late, as Montepaschi handily earned the victory, 79-57.
Thursday, October 27, 2011