By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv played the game of their season, demolishing Montepaschi Siena 92-61 at Nokia Arena and keeping their hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals alive. Yogev Ohayon and Devin Smith were outstanding with 19 points each, Guy Pnini scored 15 points, while Shawn James (4 blocks) and David Logan each added 14 points.
Coach Blatt opened the game with Shawn James, Nik Caner-Medley, Devin Smith, Yogev Ohayon and Ricky Hickman. Smith started things off with a trey from the left wing, while James began delivering rejection notices. Siena managed to keep pace though, and after two and a half minutes the score was 5-4, Maccabi. The home team played tough on defense, and after four minutes the score was tied at 6 all. The score waffled between a one basket lead for Maccabi to a tie over the next few minutes, with James, Ohayon and David Logan scoring for Maccabi. Siena had some trouble getting their shots to drop, but they remained close nonetheless; with just over three minutes on the clock, Maccabi led 13-11. Siena took their first lead of the game, 18-17 with a minute and a half remaining, but James immediately corrected the error. The period ended in a tie, 22 all.
Siena retook the lead early in the second quarter off points by Bobby Brown, but Ohayon soon answered for Maccabi. The lead continued to change hands, until a layup by Guy Pnini, points by Hickman and a bucket by James gave Maccabi a 32-28 lead. A classic Pnini clutch three from the top of the arc opened the door, and Logan (layup) and Smith (three from the right corner off a dime from Logan) made it 44-31 with thirty seconds left in the half. Good defense by Logan prevented a last second score by the visitors, and the teams went into the halftime break with Maccabi leading 46-34.
Maccabi started the third quarter with good defense and a layup by Ohayon, but a couple of quick fouls resulted in points from the charity stripe for Siena. Ohayon drained a bucket from downtown and sent a dish to James in traffic for the bucket. James scored again (assist Pnini) as did Pnini who once again delivered from outside the arc, making it 58-38 after four minutes of action. Logan continued to play great defense, while Ohayon added a steal and coast-to-coast layup to his repertoire. Points and a steal by James were followed with an assist, as the big man dished to Sylven Landesberg under the basket to make it 66-45 with just under three minutes left in the period. Siena made every effort to cut their deficit, and the quarter ended with Maccabi leading 69-53.
Siena continued to close the gap at the start of the fourth quarter, 69-57 after points by Benjamin Eze, but Maccabi's Israelis weren't about to let them catch up, as Pnini added a fadeaway and one and Ohayon delivered a stop and pop that put Maccabi up 74-57 with six minutes left in the game. James continued to battle for rebounds and Smith delivered two huge treys - with just over three minutes left the score was 82-57. Maccabi held Siena to only four points in the period until the last minute, while Logan added six more points and Landesberg scored off an assist from Caner-Medley. When time ran out Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv had defeated Montepaschi Siena 92-61.
Maccabi: Ohayon 19 points; Smith 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists; Pnini 15 points; James 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks; Logan 14 points; Hickman 6 points; Landesberg 4 points; Caner-Medley 1 point, 4 rebounds.