Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius downed Krka Novo Mesto 82-72 on Monday to clinch first place in Group F. Rytas remains perfect with a 5-0. Krka slipped to 3-2, but has already qualified to the Last 16 round. Tyrese Rice led the winners with 16 points and 7 assists, Renaldas Seibutis scored 14, Mindaugas Katelynas netted 10 and Lawrence Roberts pulled down 10 boards and posted 9 points. Jimmy Baxter was the main contributor for Novo Mesto with 14 points, Smiljan Pavic drilled 13 with 9 boards and Mustafa Abdul Hamid netted 11. Krka Novo Mesto took a 23-32 margin after a 7-0 run early in the second quarter, but a 24-8 run that bridged the last two quarter gave a 73-61 advantage to Rytas at the midway point of the last quarter and the hosts controlled the game till the final buzzer.
Jonas Valanciunas opened the scoring for the hosts, copied by Baxter for the hosts. After the score was tied four times, a 6-0 Krka run gave the visitors a 10-16 margin on a huge dunk by Baxter after a steal. Rice cut the difference to 15-16 from mid range, before newcomer Abdul Hamid scored a pull up jumper that fixed the final 15-18 for Novo Mesto after 10 minutes. Simon Petrov posted 5 consecutive points for a 15-23 advantage to the visitors. Aleksandar Rasic from downtown made it 23-25, but another 7-0 quick run capped by Zoran Dragic with a layup gave again a 23-32 margin to the Slovenian champs. It was Rasic again from long distance to climb within 28-32. Jure Balazic nailed another shot from downtown for 30-37, before Roberts and Baxter exchanged layups and Rice drilled free throws to fix the 35-40 score for Novo Mesto at halftime.
A Pavic layup and Valancinuas dunk made it 37-42, then Dragic found easy points in the open court for 37-46. After Edo Muric scored from downtown, Predrag Samardziski kept Rytas on fire in the paint and Rice cut the deficit to 47-51 from beyond the arc midway through the quarter. Rice again tied from the foul line at 53-53 and then Roberts gave a slim margin to his side. Steponas Babrauskas excited the home crowd with a deep three pointer for the lead at 57-55, Pavic tied the score thanks to an assist from Matej Rojc, but again the Rytas sharpshooter hit another for 60-57. A layup bagged by Dragic with just a second on the game clock made it 60-59 at the end of the third quarter. Rasic hit another triple and Katelynas scored underneath to extendthe cushion to 65-59. Petrov answered in the open court, while back-to-back baskets by Katelynas gave a double digit margin to the home team, 73-61. Abdul Hamid kept in charge the visiting team from long distance, Baxter scored a layup and Samardziski answered from the foul line, while Pavic scored again to be 79-68. A Seibutis three pointer and Marko Djurkovic layup fixed the final 82-72 for Lietuvos Rytas.
Monday, December 12, 2011