BC Prienai opened its second Eurocup campaign with an important 85-72 win over Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem in Kaunas Sports Hall on Wednesday. After 25 minutes of a seesaw battle, Prienai used a 13-1 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to build a 68-54 advantage and secure the win. Gediminas Orelik led the victors with 26 points on 4-for-7 three-point shooting. Arturas Milaknis also shot 4 for 7 from downtown and scored 14, while Arminas Urbutis amassed 12 points plus 11 rebounds and Gintaras Kadzulis finished with 10 points. Craig Smith had 15 points for Hapoel, Jacob Pullen finished with 13 and Raviv Limonad and Uri Kokia each scored 10 in defeat.
A triple from Pullen and Limonad's layup gave Hapoel a 0-5 start, but Kadzulis and Orelik each hit a three-pointer that opened Prienai's account and Siim-Sander Vene's layup gave the hosts their first lead, 10-9. Limonad and Pullen were creators of a 0-7 run, with Pullen hitting a jumper and a triple to reach double figures after less than eight minutes of play, however Urbutis answered with a couple of baskets that made it 16-16 after the first quarter. Elishay Kadir and Smith opened the scoring for Hapoel in the second quarter, but what followed was an 8-2 run that included three-pointers from Milaknis and Orelik for a 24-21 Prienai advantage. The lead exchanged hands four times in the following three minutes, with Kadziulis and Orelik briefly restoring a 3-point advantage for hosts while Kadir and Limonad combined for 6 points in a span of 90 seconds to tie the score at 33-33. Prienai took a slim 35-33 halftime advantage after Milaknis scored a fastbreak layup in the final second of the second quarter.
Smith hit a pair of free throws at the beginning of the third quarter and Kadir made a layup to tie the game at 37-37, but Milaknis answered with a three-pointer and Urbutis netted a shot to give Prienai a 5-point advantage. Jerusalem answered again through Craig and Courtney Fells hit a jumper and made a dunk that put Hapoel up 44-45, however Orelik came right back with a layup that sparked an 11-2 run. With Kadziulis made 3 of 3 from the line, Vene added a layup-plus-foul and Orelik hit from downtown as the score quickly reached 55-47. Jerusalem used a technical foul and Meir Tapiro’s 4 points to crawl back to 55-53, but Urbutis, Vene and Arturas Valeika gave the hosts a 61-54 advantage to take into the final 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples from Milaknis and Orelik extended the lead to 14 and another Milaknis triple made it 71-56 with seven minutes to go. Hapoel relied on scoring from Smith and Limonad, and a triple from the latter cut the deficit to 73-63, but with Zygimantas Janavicius going 4 for 4 from the foul line and with Orelik hitting twice from inside, Hapoel did not manage to bring the margin into single digits until Craig and Tapiro made it 81-72 with 2 minutes remaining. A window of opportunity opened for Hapoel with Orelik’s unsportsmanlike foul, but Craig missed 2 free throws and Tapiro committed a turnover and missed a triple for the visitors that allowed Prienai to extend the lead in the final seconds and finish the game with a 13-point margin.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012