An amazing personal 16-point streak by Rudy Fernandez starting the third period, allowed DKV Joventut to remain undefeated in Group A after a 90-65 home win over Siauliai on Tuesday. Until that point the game had been really close as the hosts struggled from the arc, but the personal mark of the guard helped Joventut reach a perfect 5-0 mark after the first leg of the regular season to lead Group A alone, while Siauliai dropped to 2-3. Rudy led all scorers with 24 points for the winners, Demond Mallet added 14 and Jan-Hendrick Jagla tallied 12. For Siauliai, Donatas Zavackas led the way with 17 points and Antonio Grant posted 14.
Despite a fast start by Siauliai with a 0-4, Rudy Fernandez capped a 6-0 run to make it 6-4 for DKV Joventut. Arturas Masiulis also started hot for the guests as the score was as tight as it could be, 16-17 in minute 7. The hosts struggled from the arc with 0 pf 5 threes, but Demond Mallet put an end to the first quarter for 22-20 with his last basket. Lonny Baxter started contributing for Joventut but Mantas Ruikis sank three from the line to keep things close. An Antonio Grant triple first for Ventspils, and a basket by Petar Popovic later tied the game twice, 28-28 and 30-30 to raise the heat a little more. However, Siauliai dominated the pace of the game and stroke back with a 0-5 capped by Saulius Kuzminskas. After the break, Rudy stormed in with 13 straight points of his own, including DKV's first three after 9 attempts and then another, as the hosts got the first double-digit lead of the night, 57-47.
He kept on going on with yet another three making it 16 points for him, as Grant and Donatas Zavackas tried to combine efforts to stop the bleeding, but Mallet drained a new three that started getting Joventut out of Siauliai's reach, 65-50. Mallet and Jerome Moiso took the hosts to a 71-56 after 30 minutes as Grant was now the only offensive weapon for Siauliai. Mallet opened also the last period with a three-pointer and then Edu Hernandez-Sonseca scored for a 21-point DKV lead at 78-57. Kuzminskas tried to keep Siauliai going but now the three-pointer numbers were getting even as the guests missed the shots that had gone in in the first half. Joventut was also outrebounding Siauliai hard at 38-24 and the 15 turnovers of the Lithuanian team at that point only added to the mix. It was only logical then that Joventut cruised to the win in the final minutes when Jan-Hendrick Jagla scored twice from the line for 84-60 in minute 37 as the home crowd celebrated the fifth win of its team.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007