Credit: Savino Paolella/LPS via ZUMA Press Wire
Credit Savino Paolella/LPS via ZUMA Press Wire

AX Armani Exchange Milan relied on an excellent third quarter to beat Dinamo Sassari 88-68 (27-18, 15-19, 23-9, 23-22) in the 2022 Italian Cup's first quarter-final, held at the Vitrifrigo Arena in Pesaro.

Free throws this season

Points made: 11,3
Accuracy: 76,3%
Place in standings: 14
Record max: 18
Record min: 1
Most made FTs: Shavon Shields

On Saturday at 18:15 CET, the titleholders will play the winner of the Dolomiti Energia Trentino-Germani Brescia clash, which starts today at 20:45 CET.

Malcolm Delaney led all scorers with 24 points on 7/12 from the field, including 4/6 three-point shots, plus 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The 32-year-old guard was "hot" from the first quarter right to the end of the contest. Troy Daniels scored 12 points, most of them in the first 20 minutes, while everyone contributed scoring-wise, apart from Tommaso Baldasso.

On the other end, David Logan stood out with 19 points, as Sassari were competitive only in the first half.

Milan started off on the right foot, leading by as many as 13 (36-23) in the first half, largely thanks to the Malcolm Delaney-Tory Daniels duo. The two American guards combined for 23 points, when Kaspar Treier was spearheading Sassari's attempts.

However, going into the half-time break, the Sards had managed to cut down the deficit to only 5 (37-42), as Christian Mekowulu and Jason Burnell helped their team capitalize on its good defense. Milan scored only 15 points in the second quarter and that's something that Ettore Messina wouldn't let go unnoticed.

A partial score of 15-2 sorted things out for Armani Milan, as Delaney was unstoppable, Bentil and Hines kept grabbing offensive rebounds and the margin reached new heights (57-39). Sassari couldn't issue response from behind the three-point line and was reduced to only one field goal in seven minutes of play.

Davide Alviti provided Messina's squad with some extra help. The 25-year-old forward scored 9 points in 11 minutes, including an and-one effort off Sergio Rodriguez's assist.

Dinamo never came within reach despite David Logan's long-distance three-pointers. Taking the best out of their bench's depth, Milan easily took care of business and are now preparing for the semifinals.

AX Armani Exchange Milan: Malcolm Delaney 24 (7/12 FG, 6/8 FT, 5 REB, 4 AST), Troy Daniels 12 (4/6 3PT SHOTS), Giampaolo Ricci 10 (4/7 FG), Davide Alviti 9 (3 REB).

Dinamo Sassari: David Logan 19 (6/12 FG, 4/5 FT, 7 REB, 3 TO), Christian Mekowulu 12 (5/10 FG, 2/2 FT, 5 REB), Kaspar Treier 11  (4/10 FG, 6 REB), Gerald Robinson 9.

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