Szolnoki beats Besiktas, locks Last 32 spot
Szolnoki Olaj made it to the Eurocup Last 32 by downing Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul 85-67 at home on Wednesday. Szolnoki improved to 4-5 and made it to the next round due to its tie-break advantages against PAOK Thessaloniki and Besiktas, which will fight for the only Last 32 spot left in Group E next week. Besiktas dropped to 3-6 and will qualify to the last 32 if it beats Zenit St. Petersburg next week and PAOK loses against Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. David Vojvoda led the winners with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Strahinja Milosevic added 24 points and 11 rebounds while Krisztian Wittmann had 10 points in a historical night for Szolnoki. Maciej Lampe led Besiktas with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Randy Culpepper added 11 points while Lamont Hamilton and Nate Wolters each had 10 for the guests. A dunk by Culppper gave Besiktas an 11-13 lead but Vojvoda and Milosevic allowed Szolnoki to get a 21-19 edge after 10 minutes and extend it to 48-37 at halftime. Lampe and Wolters managed to bring Besiktas within 64-59 early in the fourth quarter but Szolnoki improved its defense and an 8-0 run helped the hosts to seal the outcome minutes before the final buzzer.
Akos Keller and Lampe got their teams going with respective baskets and free throws by Vojvoda gave Szolnoki a 4-2 lead. Tremmell Darden shined with a three-point play and Wolters scored off a steal but Vojvoda and Milosevic gave the hosts ahead, 9-7. Hamilton and Lampe stepped up with consecutive baskets and Culpepper dunked off a steal to give Besiktas an 11-13 lead. Milosevic scored again and back-to-back baskets by an unstoppable Vojvoda restored a 17-15 Szolnoki edge. Hamilton hit free throws and Wolters scored again but Vojvoda and Milosevic allowed Szolnoki to keep a 21-19 margin after 10 minutes. Szolnoki found new go-to guys early in the second quarter, as Kyryl Natyazhko and Aaron Craft gave the hosts a 25-21 edge. Cenk Akyol and Lampe made Besiktas tie it at 25-25. Free throws by Vojvoda ignited a 7-0 run which Milosevic capped with a basket that boosted the hosts' lead to 32-25. Milosevic kept pacing Szolnoki but Hamilton and Culpepper brought Besiktas closer, 36-31. Wittmann found his first points and fed Milosevic for a triple that made it a double-digit game, 41-31. Culpepper stepped up with 4 unanswered points and Darden hit free throws but Milosevic stayed unstoppable and Vojvoda banked in a midcourt shot that restored a 48-37 Szolnoki margin at halftime.
Lampe shined with a three-point play soon after the break but Wittmann erased with with a bomb from downtown. Lampe scored again, Milosevic answered at the other end and free throws by Vojvoda kept Szolnoki way ahead, 55-42. A big basket by Keller made Besiktas call timeout at 57-42. Chinemelu Elonu and Natyazhko exchanged baskets, Lampe scored again but free throws by Oleksandr Lypovyy restored a 61-46 Szolnoki margin. Culpepper and Natyazhko traded foul shots and Darden allowed Besiktas to get a bit closer, 63-52. A free throw by Craft and a basket by Wolters fixed the score at 64-54 after 30 minutes. Cenk Akyol buried a three-pointer to give Besiktas hope, 64-57, early in the fourth quarter. Hamilton soon made it a five-point game, 64-59, with 8 minutes left. It didn't last long, however, as Dino Gregory, Vojvoda and Wittmann fueled an 8-0 run that boosted their team's margin to 72-59. Wolters and Lampe kept pacing Besiktas but the guests only managed to trade baskets now. Meanwhile, Keller allowed Szolnoki to seal the outcome, 81-65, already in the final minute, allowing all Szolnoki fans to celebrate a go-ahead win.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015