Lietuvos Rytas outdueled Alba Berlin at home 86-75, joining two other teams with 2-1 records in tightly contested Group L. With the loss, Alba dropped to 0-3 with dim prospects to qualify for the Eurocup Quarterfinals. The visitors entered the fourth quarter up 59-63, but Rytas took over with two minutes to go. While helped by clutch three-point shooting, the hosts did most of their damage in the paint by outrebounding Alba 38-19. Aleksandar Rasic led the winners with 16 points, while Mindaugas Katelynas knocked down 13 and Jonas Valanciunas added 12. Derrick Allen scored 16 points and Dashaun Wood netted 14 in defeat.
Rytas scored first and took an early 4-3 lead on a dunk by Valanciunas. After Alba Berlin’s Kyle Weaver knocked down a two-pointer, the hosts scored 7 straight, capped by another Valanciunas dunk to go up 11-7. Marko Simonovic’s triple kept Alba close, but Rytas answered with a basket each in the paint by Lawrence Roberts and Tyrese Rice, as the scoreboard moved to 15-11. After an exchange of layups, Alba’s Heiko Schaffartzik buried a three-pointer then Predrag Samardziski ended scoring for the quarter with a dunk as Rytas stayed out front 20-16. Rice opened scoring with 4 straight points, then Schaffartzik downed a short-range shot as the score moved to 24-19. Rytas continued scoring, doing most of its damage inside on a layup by Katelynas and a dunk and another layup by Samardziski. But Alba managed to more than keep pace, as Wood, Schaffartzik and Derrick Allen each contributed two-pointers and Bryce Taylor banged in a triple, cutting the lead to 32-28. After an exchange of points in the paint, Simonovic nailed a shot from downtown, as Alba pulled to 36-35. Katelynas added 4 straight, then Schaffartzik drilled another three-pointer with 39 seconds left as Rytas held on to a slim halftime lead, 40-38.
The scoreboard stayed close to open the second half as an exchange of three-pointers by Aleksandar Rasic and Kyle Weaver set the difference at 48-47. The next 5 points belonged to Rytas as Rasic drilled another from downtown and Ronnie Seibutis scored in the paint along with a foul shot, giving the hosts a 54-47 margin. Wood responded with a triple and Weaver added a layup and free throw as Alba got back in it, 56-53. After Roberts dunked and Samardziski hit a free throw, Alba took off on a 10-point surge, and Wood scored 4 points and Sven Schultze 6 on a pair of triples, as Alba ended the third quarter with its first lead since the opening minutes, 59-63. Wood and Rasic swapped layups to open the final 10 minutes, pushing the score to 62-65. But then Rytas exploded with an 8-0 burst as Katelynas put in a layup then Steponas Babrauskas and Rasic each drilled a three-pointer as the score shifted in favor of the hosts 70-65. Schultze answered with a two-pointer, but Rasic and Katelynas each hit a triple, pushing the difference to 76-67. In the last 5 minutes of the game Alba failed to cut the lead as the hosts outscored the opposition 10-8, securing the an 86-75 victory.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012