Tartu Cling On For Victory

11 March 2014
9. David Vojvoda (Szolnoki Olaj)
David Vojvoda and Szolnoki Olaj just fell short of a miracle comeback

Tartu Rock held off a fourth-quarter rally from Szolnoki Olaj to win the first leg of their EuroChallenge quarter-final 87-83.

Szolnoki came from 17 points down to the cut the gap to just one with 16 seconds left but could not get over the hump as Tartu hung on for a crucial win.

Tanel Karbus led Tartu home with 19 points, while Valmo Kriisa and Augustas Peciukevicius scored 13 each.

Tartu took control late in the second quarter with a 16-4 run, going into the locker rooms leading 47-35 after Vincent Simpson sank a three-pointer.

Their lead fluctuated after the break but they appeared set to cruise home when Kriisa's three made it 72-55 with 8:59 to go.

But Justin Holiday replied with a four-point play, drawing a foul from Marek Doronin as he hit a three.

After David Vojvoda hit a pair of free throws, Holiday came up with another big play, blocking Joosep Toome's shot and then stripping Simpson of the ball. Strahinja Milosevic made it pay with two more free throws, and when he followed it up with a three-pointer, the score was 72-66, an 11-0 spurt.

Vilmantas Dilys padded Tartu's lead with a lay-up but still Szolnoki kept coming as Peter Lorant hit a three.

Pecikevicius made it 77-69 with 3:19 to go, but just as it seemed Tartu might be able to breathe easy, Szolnoki rattled off four quick points.

Lorant's jumper made it 78-75 with 40 seconds left as Szolnoki began to foul and, although Tartu were making their free throws, two three-pointers from Vojvoda helped Szolnoki make it 82-81 with 16 ticks left.

Lorant cancelled out Pecikevicius' free throws, and Szolnoki had their chance to tie it after Pecikevicius could only split a pair.

However, Vojvoda missed six seconds from time and Kriisa iced it from the line.  

Lorant had 23 points and eight rebounds for Szolnoki, while Vojvoda scored 22 and Holiday 18.




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