|Spartak St. Petersburg improved to 2-1 in Last 16 Group K by thrashing Stelmet Zielona Gora 69-89 in Poland on Wednesday. Spartak registered its second consecutive win in Group K and Zielona Gora dropped to 1-2. Both teams are set to face again in St. Petersburg, Russia next week. Loukas Mavrokefalidis paced the winners with 19 points. Vladimir Dragicevic added 16, Zach Wright had 13, Vasily Zavourev got 11 while Josh Carter contributed 10 for Spartak. Dejan Borovnjak led Zielona Gora with 17 points. Walter Hodge added 13 while Oliver Stevic had 10 for the hosts. Spartak had a strong start but Hodge and Borovnjak kept Zielona Gora within 21-24 early in the second quarter. It didn't last long, however, as Nikita Kurbanov, Zavourev, Mavrokefalidis and Janis Strelnieks led a game-breaking 2-20 run which allowed Spartak to get a 21-point lead, 27-48, at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Spartak kept a safe margin all the way until the final buzzer.
Dragicevic got Spartak going with back-to-back baskets but Borovnjak and Stevic quickly tied it at 4-4. Mavrokefalidis struck from downtown and erased Borovnjak's layup with free throws. Dragicevic scored again and Wright soon boosted the guests' lead to 6-13. Hosley rescued Zielona Gora with a three-pointer but Hodge erased Mavrokefalidis's basket with a layup for an 11-15 score. Wright took over with a three-point play that Strelnieks followed with a bomb from downtown. Borovnjak scored twice in the paint, Kurbanov nailed a triple and a jumper by Hodge fixed the score at 19-24 after 10 minutes. Rob Jones hit a jumper early in the second quarter but Kurbanov and Zavourev fueled an 0-9 run that Strelnieks capped with free throws that made it a 12-point game, 21-33. Hodge stepped up with a jumper but back-to-back baskets by Mavrokefalidis and another three-pointer by Zavourev broke the game open, 23-40. A layup by Wright soon capped a 0-11 run to boost Spartak's lead to 23-44. Hodge kept pacing Zielona Gora with a jumper and Stevic scored again but Kurbanov and Mavrokefalidis kept Spartak way ahead, 27-48, at halftime.
Borovnjak scored down low immediately after the break and Stevic added a put-back layup but Carter and Wright allowed Spartak to restore a 31-52 margin. Stevic scored again but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Zavourev made free throws, Kurbanov downed a jumper and Mavrokefalidis soon made it a 24-point game, 36-60. Borovnjak scored in the paint, Zavourev struck from downtown and a an unstoppable Mavrokefalidis boosted Spartak's lead to 38-65. Borovnjak scored again, igniting a 7-0 run highlighted by Lukasz Seweryn's three-pointer. Dragicevic gave Spartak a 47-67 lead after 30 minutes. Wright hit a jumper but free throws by Stevic and a triple by Marcin Sroka brought Zielona Gora a bit closer, 52-69. Spartak did not panic, however, as Carter nailed back-to-back triples and a jumper by Wright sealed the outcome, 52-77, with 7 minutes to go. Nothing changed from that moment, as even when Zielona Gora kept trying, Spartak had cruised to a well-deserved, very convincing road win.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013