Cibona thrashed Le Mans Sarthe Basket by 20 points at the Drazen Petrovic Basketball Center in Zagreb, Croatia, on Wednesday night to improve to 3-3 in Group B. The 91-71 final score also left Le Mans winless in six tries this season. Chris Warren exploded in the second half and led the winners with 20 points. Tre Kelley added 15, Larry Ayuso had 14 while San Hoskin got 11 for Cibona, which allowed 12 dunks in this game despite its big win. Sam Clancy led Le Mans with 20 points on 10-for-15 two-point shooting and 8 rebounds. Phil Ricci added 16 points, Alain Koffi had 12 and Raviv Limonad 10. Le Mans ran its offense through its frontcourt in the first half, as Koffi and an unstoppable Clancy allowed the guests to get a 37-40 edge late in the first half. Kelley followed free throws with a layup to give Cibona a 41-40 edge at halftime. Warren buried three triples in a 10-0 run that put Cibona ahead for good, 55-49. Clancy kept trying for Le Mans, but Marin Rozic and Ayuso allowed Cibona to make it a 20-point game, 79-59, and seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
Vedran Vukusic got Cibona going with a follow-up basket and soon added a reverse layup for a 4-0 lead. Ayuso shined with an uncontested layup off a steal, causing Le Mans call timeout at 6-0. Limonad tried to change things for Le Mans, but Damir Mulaomerovic buried a corner triple, good for a 9-2 lead. Clancy shined with a turnaround jumper, which Hoskin matched with a put-back layup. Le Mans improved its ball circulation, as Luka Bogdanovic came through with a six-meter jumper. Clancy scored again over Hoskin and fed Koffi for a power dunk that got the guests within 11-10. Vukusic stepped up with one from downtown, but back-to-back dunks by Clancy and Nicolas Batum saw Cibona call timeout at 14-14. Hoskin stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and Ayuso beat the shot-clock buzzer with a close jumper to put Cibona back ahead, 19-14. Limonad took over with a driving layup and Koffi provided a highlight with a huge dunk. Clancy had Le Mans's fifth dunk in the opening period to give his team its first lead, 19-20, after a 0-6 run. Chris Warren scored in penetration, but another put-back basket by Clancy allowed Le Mans to take a 21-22 edge after 10 minutes.
The game was stopped for six minutes due to a clock problem, but Cibona came back strong after that. Mulaomerovic made free throws and Rozic added an acrobatic layup off a steal for a 25-22 edge. Le Mans kept struggling to score, while Hoskin shined with a layup in transition to cap a 6-0 run. Clancy stepped up with an easy basket that Hoskin erased with a four-meter jumper. Ricci copied him right after that, but Hoskin sank an incredible fade-away jumper and Rozic added free throws for a 33-26 Cibona lead. Clancy shined with his third dunk, as Le Mans kept trying to get its frontcourt involved. Ricci hit foul shots to get the guests within 33-30. Batum fed Clancy for yet another close basket, which Kelley erased with an electric driving layup. Le Mans kept looking for its big men inside, as Ricci added a second-chance layup. Ayuso scored in penetration, but free throws by Nebojsa Bogavac caused Cibona to call timeout at 37-36. The hosts tried a zone defense that Ricci beat with a mid-range shot. Koffi took over with a high-flying dunk before Kelley followed free throws with a buzzer-beating layup to make Cibona regain the lead, 41-40, at halftime.
Koffi shined with his fourth dunk right after the break and soon added a basket for a 41-44 Le Mans edge. Warren tried to get Cibona going with a six-meter shot, but Batum answered from downtown to keep Le Mans ahead, 43-47. Luksa Andric and a red-hot Koffi traded dunks, as Cibona found a go-to guy in Warren, who buried consecutive triples to get the hosts back ahead, 51-49. Cibona managed to improve its defense and protect its rim while Warren buried his third three-pointer. Le Mans could not find easy shots inside, while Andric capped a 10-0 run with a free throw. Limonad stepped up with a big triple from the top of the key, but a jump hook by Andric and a smart driving layup by Kelley kept Cibona ahead, 59-52. Clancy found space for an uncontested layup only for Ayuso to match it with free throws. Le Mans kept struggling to score while Warren buried a five-meter shot and Kelley added free throws to boost the hosts' lead to double digits. Clancy provided a highlight with a power dunk, but Rozic erased it with an easy basket. Clancy shined again with a huge power basket that got Le Mans within 67-58 after three quarters.
Kelley kept leading Cibona with more free throws, as Le Mans needed to improve its defense right away. Meanwhile, Cibona followed its game plan with short possessions and looking for open shots. Rozic buried one from downtown and an unstoppable Warren added a layup to break the game open, 74-59. Le Mans opted to attack the basket to make Cibona enter the foul bonus as soon as possible, but Cibona kept its temper in its best defensive minutes in this game. Ayuso buried one from downtown and fed Warren behind-the-back for a reverse layup to make it a 20-point game after a 12-1 run. Le Mans called a much-needed timeout and Ricci dunked it again and Yannick Bokolo fired in a corner triple to give Le Mans some hope, 79-64. Ricci scored again after a Cibona timeout but Kelley answered from downtown to make Le Mans lose all hope at 82-66. Andric fired in a seven-meter bomb that allowed all Cibona fans to celebrate that their team stays unbeaten at home in Group B.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007