Three complicated periods, then the defense changed pace and a fourth explosive period offensively ensued. The Italian Keith Langford career-high (30, the previous was 27 in 19 May 2009, when he played for Bologna and set the high in Treviso) inspired the EA7 fourth quarter rally in Ancona. It’s the third consecutive road win in the Italian league, the third win in the last week. The streak started in Cremona and kept alive against Cedevita in Euroleague. The line-up completing the rally featured Rok Stipcevic as a point-guard (he makes two threes crucial) and David Chiotti covering the middle defensively after Bourousis had a high efficiency level in the first and third quarter when EA7 decided to pound the ball inside to him.
FIRST HALF – EA7 pounds the ball inside to Ioannis Bourousis, who three times goes right to the bucket in post-up situations. Sutor run, ignites the break, and all of a sudden goes up 16-10 in the first thanks to Ronald Steele and the inside-out game of Christian Burns. When Valerio Mazzola makes a three, Montegranaro is up 21-10 before a driving lay-up and two free throws by Melli closed the gap, 21-14 at the end of first. Sutor’s lead goes back up in double digit after a long jumper by Tamar Slay. Olimpia keeps the pace because of two threes by Langford, breaking the ice after a first period with no basket from the arc. A big three by Fotsis brings Olimpia within five, 34-29, but seven points by Mazzola and two lay-ups by Cinciarini and Burns allow Montegranaro to go up by 11 once again, 42-31. A huge Basile’s three from the corner closes the first half, 42-34.
SECOND HALF – Langford scores immediately posting-up, after a while he makes a three followed by a Hairston dunk. Recalcati calls a time-outwith 6’29” left in the third and Sutor up 48-43. Rolands Freimanis scores five consecutive points, broke by two foul shots by Bourousis and a three-point play by Langford. There’s also a Cook’s alley-oop for Bourousis. But after 28 minutes, Sutor is again uop by 11, 61-50. The biggest margin goes up to 13, momentarily. Then Langford makes a three, makes two foul shots, Hairston scores on a drive: the run is broke in half by a Kyle Johnson’s free throw. At the end of third it’s 64-57 Sutor. In the fourth, Hairston begins attacking with a strong penetration, the Stipcevic makes a three and Langford scores on a mid-range jumper. In two and half minutes it’s a 7-0 run forcing Recalcati to call another time-out with Olimpia down by two, 66-64. After the break, Stipcevic makes a huge three from the corner, Langford imitates him, Hairston dunks and Fotsis from the corner makes a three himself. In a matter of seconds, EA7 is up by seven, 75-68. And it’s controlling time.