2018-19Regular SeasonRound 9
December 12, 2018 CET: 17:00
Local time: 19:00 BASKET HALL KAZAN

UNICS downs Unicaja to take first place in Group D

UNICS Kazan clinched first place in Group D of the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season by downing Unicaja Malaga 87-84 at Basket Hall Kazan on Wednesday. UNICS improved to 8-1 in the standings to clinch first place and Unicaja dropped to 7-2 and will be second regardless of other results. Errick McCollum led the winners with 21 points, Pierria Henry added 19, Jamar Smith had 14 and Maurice Ndour and Jackie Carmichael each had 10 for UNICS. Giorgi Shermadini paced Unicaja with 22 points and Jaime Fernandez and Kyle Wiltjer scored 11 each for the visitors.

Evgeny Koleshnikov struck from downtown and Trent Lockett dunked to give UNICS an early 5-0 lead. Fernandez and Mathias Lessort fueled a 0-7 run to put Unicaja in charge for the first time, 5-7. Wiltjer sank a triple in transition and followed Lessort's layup with another one from beyond the arc to boost the lead to 9-15. Henry and Ndour stepped up for UNICS, but Shermadini kept Unicaja ahead, 18-20, after 10 minutes. A layup by Shermadini and a jumper by Fernandez made it a 6-point game early in the second quarter. Smith and McCollum each struck from downtown in an 8-0 run as UNICS regained the lead, 26-24. Dani Diez rescued Unicaja with consecutive triples and Brian Roberts added another one for a 30-35 lead. Adam Waczynski and McCollum exchanged three-pointers and a driving layup by Roberts prompted UNICS to call timeout at 35-40. McCollum hit his third bomb from downtown, but layups by Lessort and Dragan Milosavljevic gave Unicaja a 38-44 margin at halftime. Carmichael and Smith took over after the break to bring UNICS within 45-47. Shermadini and Fernandez stepped up for the visitors to give Unicaja fresh air at 52-58. McCollum hit a jumper and Henry followed free throws with a triple to make it 59-60. Henry insisted from downtown and a layup by Carmichael completed the hosts' comeback at 64-62. Free throws by Alberto Diaz tied it at 64-64 after 30 minutes. A jumper by Waczynski and a three-pointer by Fernandez allowed Unicaja to regain the lead, 68-69, early in the fourth quarter. Ndour, McCollum and Henry stayed perfect from the foul line and a dunk by Carmichael helped UNICS get a 7-point lead with less than four minutes left. Shermadini and Wiltjer turned the game into a thriller, 82-79, with 1:05 left. Smith sealed the outcome with a big triple, 85-79, with 42 seconds left and Unicaja did not recover.

Pivotal performer

Henry did a little bit of everything for UNICS, finishing the game with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists 3 steals and 7 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 34 - a new career high. Henry scored 14 of his 19 points in the final 13 minutes and had half of his 8 assists in the fourth quarter.

Game-changing moment

Unicaja found a way to get back in the game with a minute left, 82-79, but Shermadini missed a free throw and UNICS finished a long, patient offense in the best way possible - McCollum found a wide-open Smith, who hit a three-point shot that sealed the outcome against his former team.

Stellar stat

Unicaja hit 7 of 14 three-point shots (50%) in the first half, but just 3 of 12 (25%) after the break. The visitors also committed 14 turnovers, while UNICS only had 9.

Did you notice?

Unicaja is second in Group D and will face the first-ranked team in Group C - Valencia Basket. It is a rematch of the 2017 EuroCup Finals, which Unicaja won 1-2 to claim its first continental title in over 15 years.

In Round 10

Both teams finish the regular season on Wednesday, December 19. UNICS visits Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt and Unicaja hosts already-eliminated and winless Fiat Turin.

Errick McCollum - UNICS Kazan (photo UNICS) - EC18
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: MOGULKOC, EMIN; OBRKNEZEVIC, UROS ; KARTAL, ERSAN
Attendance: 3421 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
UNICS Kazan18202623
Unicaja Malaga20242020
End of Quarter1234
UNICS Kazan18386487
Unicaja Malaga20446484
UNICS Kazan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 EJIM, MELVIN 4:04     0/1                 1 1   -3
4 LOCKETT, TRENT 18:51 4 2/2       1 1 1     1   3 1 5
5 NDOUR, MAURICE 22:51 10 2/7   6/6 1 3 4 1 2 1     4 5 12
6 MCCOLLUM, ERRICK 24:54 21 5/9 3/5 2/4   6 6 1 1 2 1   5 4 19
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 15:35 4 2/3 0/1 0/2   1 1 2 1 2     1 1 2
15 SMITH, JAMAR 28:55 14 2/2 3/6 1/1       3   1     1 2 14
17 CARMICHAEL, JACKIE 18:39 10 4/5   2/3 2 2 4 2         5 3 12
27 KOSHCHEEV, ANDREY 4:47                         1   -1
42 KOLESNIKOV, EVGENY 3:29 5 1/1 1/3             1         2
45 SHELEKETO, MAKSIM 18:05   0/2 0/1   2 2 4 1         1 2 3
49 HENRY, PIERRIA 29:21 19 2/5 3/5 6/8 1 5 6 8 3 1     1 7 34
88 KAIMAKOGLOU, KOSTAS 10:29   0/1       1 1     1         -1
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 87 20/37 10/22 17/24 8 21 29 19 7 9 2 1 23 25 100
        54.1% 45.5% 70.8%
Head coach: PRIFTIS, DIMITRIS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 OKOUO, VINY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 FERNANDEZ, JAIME 20:24 11 3/5 1/2 2/2   1 1 5   1   1 5 4 11
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 9:36 2     2/2       2   1       1 4
10 SALIN, SASU 23:14 3   1/4     3 3 1   3     4 2 -1
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 17:41 8   2/4 2/2 1 5 6 1 1       2 1 13
12 MILOSAVLJEVIC, DRAGAN 15:33 2 1/2 0/2   1 4 5 1   1     1   3
17 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 24:18 22 9/11   4/5 3 4 7 1   2     3 4 26
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 20:49 5 1/2 1/3   1 1 2 3 1 2     3 1 4
22 ROBERTS, BRIAN 30:28 9 1/4 1/4 4/4   1 1 8   2 1 1 1 4 13
26 LESSORT, MATHIAS 15:15 6 3/6     2 2 4 1 1 2     4 2 5
33 WILTJER, KYLE 22:42 16 1/5 4/7 2/2   2 2           2 3 12
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 84 19/35 10/26 16/17 10 24 34 23 3 14 1 2 25 22 93
        54.3% 38.5% 94.1%
Head coach: CASIMIRO, LUIS

Head Coaches

PRIFTIS, DIMITRIS
UNICS Kazan
"First of all, congratulations to the players, because this is a serious result for us. Of course we had qualified to the second round, but it was important to finish in the best position. We played more seriously in the second half, mostly defensively. This is not obvious if you see how many points they scored, but they scored more difficult shots than in the first half. We had some problems in pick-and-roll situations, I don't think we had the proper intensity, I would say that maybe because of stress. Henry contributed in a crucial moment of the game, scoring some difficult shots, but mostly, he played very good defense. But I believe that the whole team contributed to this result."
CASIMIRO, LUIS
Unicaja Malaga
"I believe that we played a very solid game for many minutes. Only some details made us lose the game, like some turnovers, some rebounds that we didn't get and some fouls we made. At one point, they were only scoring from the free throw line. In general, we improved in our second game after the break and are getting back to being a solid team that competes in every court."

Players

MCCOLLUM, ERRICK
UNICS Kazan
"I think we just settled down in the second half and improved defensively. We just made things tougher for them. We are a good team and have not lost a game all year at home and we wanted to continue that. I didn't really foul out in my whole career. It happens. At the end of the day, we won. We are human and sometimes we make mistakes on the court and sometimes the rest of them make mistakes, it is okay. We found the way to win and that's all."
WILTJER, KYLE
Unicaja Malaga
"We are very disappointed we lost, but we think we played a better game than our last one [in the Spanish League], so we have to continue to keep getting better every day in practice and hopefully, for the best, for the next round. We wanted to be first, but there are some teams that are not even going to the Top 16. We are just glad we are still playing and it is a fresh start once we get into that second group. It doesn't matter who is with us, we have to play well and play hard."