Virtus Roma, which beat Spirou Charleroi 55-64
Virtus Roma stayed undefeated on Wednesday night by getting a valuable 55-64 road win at Spirou Charleroi in Group B of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season. The hosts dominated the first half and only Darius Washington seemed to keep the guests in the game. However, a great last period by Andrea Crosariol helped Roma pull away for good in the final minutes and never looked back. Now Virtus is still at the top of the group standings with a 2-0 record while Charleroi drops to 0-2 and needs quick solutions to be back in the game soon. Washington led all scorers with his 20 points, Crosariol added 16 points and 8 rebounds for the winners. For Charleroi, only Demond Mallet scored in double digits with his 14 points. Before the start of the game, Justine Henin, the former tennis player and number 1 of the WTA did the honorific tip-off to the game.
Ali Traore opened the score for Roma from the paint after two minutes, but Demond Mallet replied soon for the hosts with the first three of the night and
when Brent Wright appeared with two fast buckets in a row, the guests were forced to call for a timeout, 7-2. The Charleroi defense was forcing Roma
mistakes, but Traore was keeping his team a float from the paint. Brian Greene was the executor for the hosts with five straight points including a three and
Vladimir Dasic had to reply from downtown soon to keep Roma in the fight, 14-9. The three-point shootout went on as Mallet drained a new one and Darius
Washington copied him as well boosting the score to 17-12. Turnovers from fast offense were keeping Roma from settling down and trying to trim the deficit,
and with an offensive board allowing Joseph Gomis for a three, the hosts made it 21-12 entering the last minute of the period. Josh Heytvelt had time to slam
the ball off the offensive board to put an end to the first 10 minutes, 21-14.
Luca Vitali fed Washington in the paint to keep Roma going at the start of two, as Washington himself scored again to pull the guests within 3 points, 21-18.
When Washington scored to finally tie the game and seal a 0-7 run, Dan Santiago, the new acquisition of the hosts, made his debut this season, but an
offensive foul called on Charleroi allowed Roma to step ahead on the scoreboard through Andrea Crosariol, 21-23. Santiago soon tied again from the paint, but
Crosariol received from Vitali to keep Virtus on the high wave. Vet Andre Riddick put Spirou on the driver seat again thanks to an offensive rebound and then
a new basket as the stands never stopped shouting for the home team, 29-25. A couple more mistakes in offense by Roma allowed Justin Hamilton to run and slam
for the 6-point Charleroi edge, but Jacopo Giachetti stopped the bleeding from the line for 31-27. Crosariol joined in with a three-point play and Vitali
forced the Spirou turnover by himself but the defense of the hosts left things as they were when the final buzzer announced the halftime break with Spirou
Charleroi dominating by a single point, 31-30.
Virtus Roma started the third quarter strong with a 0-6 run capped by Dasic, and it was only after 4 minutes 15 seconds that Gomis managed to score for
Spirou Basket, but Washington replied fast just in case, making it 33-38 for Roma. Wright insisted looking for the rim, but the defense played by the guests
was starting to work better and Spirou found points scarce. Chris Hill and Washington traded lightning-fast baskets as Charleroi managed to breathe a little
and pull within 39-43 in minute 28. Greene was in the right spot to put back Wright's miss for 41-43, and Gomis finally tied the deal at 43-43, but Charles
Smith still found time to end the third quarter in style with his first three to make it 43-46 after 30 minutes.
Hill scored a huge three to start the last period for Charleroi with a 46-46 tie, while on the other end Heytvelt was called for an unsportsmanlike foul that
allowed Charleroi to jump ahead again. With four small guys, Charleroi's bet was all-in on speed but Roma used that to take more control of rebounds when
shots didn't go in. It was time for Roma now to miss the shots with the smothering defense of the hosts, and only Vitali, with a forced bank shot, managed to
tie the game again at 48-48 after three minutes with no points. Crosariol's free throws gave Roma a new lead, and then he slammed an incredible offensive
rebound to send a strong message: Charleroi would have to wake up now or it would be too late. Crosariol continued with his personal 0-6 run allowing for a 48-54 Roma lead while Wright finally added points for the hosts from the line. With 150 seconds to go, Charleroi was already into foul bonus, and Vitali and Traore didn't miss to make it 49-59, as Charleroi didn't find the way to the basket. When Crosariol made it 49-61 with less than 90 seconds left it was clear that Roma would celebrate a much valuable road win to stay undefeated this season.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010