Crevna Zvezda Diva Belgrade punched its ticket to the Last 16 in thrilling fashion with a 94-97 road win over Banco di Sardegna Sassari on Wednesday night. The visitors remained unbeaten in Group H, while Sassari dropped to 1-3. Crvena Zvezda used a 8-23 run to start the game; Sassari with 12-4 run late in the second quarter closed the difference to 43-53 at halftime. The visitors still led 65-76 late in the third quarter, but Sassari tied it at 90-90. Boris Savovic hit a game-winning triple in the closing seconds. Travis Diener had the chance to tie the game when he was fouled with 0.6 seconds remaining, but missed 3 free throws and Zvezda claimed the victory. DeMarcus Nelson led the winners with 20 points, Igor Rakocevic drilled 16, Boris Savovic 15 and Elton Brown added 11 with 8 rebounds. Travis Diener scored 21 points with 7 assists for Banco di Sardegna Sassari, Drake Diener netted 16, Michal Ignerski 14 and Tony Easley and Bootsy Thornton posted 11 apiece.
Nelson and Mike Scott jumpers gave an early 0-4 advantage to Crvena Zvezda, and after free throws from Ignerski for Sassari, 7 consecutive points by Rakocevic increased the margin to 4-13. Easley dunked and then scored a layup for the hosts, but Rasko Katic and Rakocevic again fueled a 0-7 run to go up 8-23. Travis Diener scored easy points in the open court, then Brian Sacchetti and Nelson exchanged three-pointers to make it 17-28. A Brown layup and Travis Diener triple closed the first quarter at 20-31 for the visitors. Zvezda opened the second quarter with 5 points by Brown underneath and Vuk Radivojevic from downtown, before Drake Diener and Manuel Vanuzzo baskets cut the margin to 26-39. Savovic posted free throws and Thornton a layup, but back-to-back three pointers from Scott and Nelson gave a 31-47 advantage to the guests. Drake Diener’s layup and long distance shot raised the difference to 36-49, while his cousin Travis’s three-point-play made it 39-49. Thornton, with a turnaround jumper down low, scored it 43-51, but a Rakocevic layup fixed the final 43-53 at halftime for the Serbian side.
Nelson and Subotic layups increased the margin to 43-57 early in the third quarter; Easley followed by a triple of Travis Diener helped the home team come closer at 50-58. Scott from downtown and Katic underneath fueled Crevna Zvezda to 52-63, Ignerski pushed Sassari from beyond the arc, then Thornton scored free throws to climb within 57-63. Rakocevic and Savovic restored a 60-69 Zvezda margin. Ignerski hit a jumper from mid range, but Nelson gave another double-digit difference to his side at 65-76, and after a layup drained any Brown, Sacchetti beat the third-quarter buzzer from downtown to stay on 69-78. Dane Diliegro and Travis Diener fueled Banco di Sardegna in a 7-2 run to get within 76-80. Savovic scored from long distance to give an 80-89 margin to the visitors, but Diliegro and Ignerski bagged 5 points in a row for 85-89 with three minutes left in the game. Travis Diener tied the score at 90-90 from downtown with two minutes left, then Savovic and Easley exchanged free throws to tie it at 92-92, before with 12 seconds left, Nelson scored a jumper for a 92-94 lead. Travis Diener tied it at 94-94 from the foul line with 9 seconds on the game clock, but Savovic with two seconds left scored from beyond the arc to put Crvena Zvezda in front 94-97, Diener missed 3 free throw with 0.6 seconds left and the guests sealed their qualification to the next round.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012