Trabzonspor starts strong, goes past Steaua
Trabzonspor Medical Park took an important step forwards to reach the Last 32 in Group D by downing Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 82-67 at home on Wednesday. Trabzonspor improved to 4-3 while Steaua dropped to 2-5. Andrija Stipanovic led the winners with 16 points. Novica Velickovic added 13 while Damian Kulig had 12 for Trabzonspor. Gerald Lee led Steaua with 15 points. Marko Marinovic added 11 while Chris Copper and Bill Amis each had 10 for the guests. Sertac Sanli and Dwight Hardy led an 11-0 opening run and even when Steaua quickly got within 11-8, Stipanovic and Tarence Kinsey allowed the hosts to restore a 18-10 margin after 10 minutes. Steaua picked up 13 turnovers before halftime and an outstanding Stipanovic had 8 unanswered points which broke the game open, 31-12. Marinovic and Amis brought Steaua a bit closer, 42-28, at halftime. Nothing changed after that, as a red hot Velickovic allowed Trabzonspor to boost its margin to 59-41 after 30 minutes. The hosts soon made it a 23-point game, 68-45, and never looked back.
Sanli and Darius Johnson-Odom got Trabzonspor going, combining for 6 quick points which Velickovic capped with a coast-to-coast layup to make Steaua call timeout at 8-0. Hardy struck from downtown, as Trabzonspor excelled on defense, making Steaua collect 6 turnovers in 5 minutes. Lee stepped up with a three-point play and free throws by Titus Nicoara and Denis Ikovlev gave Steaua hope at 11-6. Nicoara scored again to cap a 0-8 run, as Stipanovic and Kinsey made Trabzonspor restore a 16-8 lead. Kulig and Cooper scored down low to fix the score at 18-10 after 10 minutes. Stipanovic and Kinsey fueled a 6-0 run which broke the game open, 24-10, as Steaua kept collecting turnovers. Lee scored again but a red hot Stipanovic had 8 unanswered points, including a big dunk off a steal. Marko Marinovic hit a couple of three-pointers and got help from Amis and Cooper to get Steaua a bit closer, 38-23. Aleksandar Rasic found his first points, Velickovic answered with a up-and-under layup and Johnson-Odom scored in the low post for a 42-26 Trabzonspor lead, which Amis's put-back slam cut to 42-28 at halftime.
Velickovic split free throws and struck from downtown right after the break and Hardy soon made it a 20-point game, 48-28. Steaua went scoreless for more than 2 minutes until Cooper stepped up with a put-back basket which a red hot Velickovic bettered with another triple. Velickovic kept pacing Trabzonspor with free throws but Marinovic and Nicoara kept the guests within 54-34. Stipanovic and Lee exchanged baskets and even when Nicoara scored again, a three-pointer by Kulig made Steaua call timeout at 59-38. Marinovic answered from downtown to keep the guests within 59-41 after 30 minutes. Kulig hit a three-meter jumper early in the fourth quarter which Lee matched with a close basket. Gani Erdi Gulaslan nailed a triple, Lee made free throws and a tip-in by Berkay Candan restored a 66-45 Trabzonspor lead with under 7 minutes left. Steaua kept trying, but Trabzonspor kept a safe lead until the final buzzer.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015