2015-16Regular SeasonRound 7
November 25, 2015 CET: 18:45
Local time: 19:45 PAOK SPORTS ARENA
Ryan Toolson - Zenit St Petersburg - EC15 (photo PAOK - megapress - pavlosmakridis)

Road win leads Zenit to the Last 32

Zenit St. Petersburg punched its ticket to the Last 32, overcoming an early double-digit deficit and beating PAOK Thessaloniki on the road 70-89. Zenit improved to 6-1 atop of the Group E, while PAOK dropped to 2-6 in a share of the fifth place. PAOK had a strong start to the game, opening up 23-9 lead, but Ryan Toolson hit five triples in the first half, and Zenit used big second quarter to take 44-50 halftime lead. The visitors remained in front after the break, pulling away for good with 2-12 run that bridged third and fourth quarters. Toolson finished with 29 points on 7-for 12 three-point shooting. Zabian Dowdell had 15 points, Janis Timma collected 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Pavel Antipov contributed with 12 points in victory. Sofoklis Schortsanitis led the hosts with 17 points, Milenko Tepic had 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Kosts Vadileiadis netted 13 in defeat.

In the first 5 minutes of the game Tepic scored 7 points, including a basket-plus-foul that gave PAOK 9-4 lead. Toolson hit his first triple for Zenit, but Schortsanitis scored twice, including a three-point play, before back-to-back three-pointers from Vasileiadis opened 23-9 margin. Triples from Timma and Toolson helped cut the gap to 8 points, but Artem Vikhorov and Vasileiadis traded baskets in the final 10 seconds of the quarter to make it 29-19 at the end of first. But at the start of the second, Timma had a put-back and a triple, before Toolson's third triple helped get Zenit within 31-29. Tepic and William Hatcher kept the hosts ahead, but Antipov and Artem Vikhorov buried threes that sparked a run, that Aleksandr Karpukhin continued with a triple of his own, 37-39. Vasileiadis hit from long range for PAOK, but Toolson hit his fourth and fifth three-pointer of the first half, as Zenit went into the break with 44-50 lead.

Evangelos Margaritis and Schortsanitis cut it to 49-50 at the start of the third quarter, but the visitors kept PAOK without a basket for more than 2 minutes before Apollon Tsochlas hit a triple. But during that span Dowdell and Toolson combined to score 8 points on the other end that, making it 52-58. Baskets were few and far between, as only Schortsanitis on one side and Dowdell on the other each scored a pair of baskets. Toolson and Tepic traded buckets in the final minute of the third, before Toolson's triple made it 60-67 at the end of third quarter. A three-pointer from Dowdell and a put-back from Timma helped Zenit get to its first double-digit margin of the night, 62-74. Tepic had a put-back for the hosts, but Antipov's three made it 65-77 midway through the fourth. Timma added another three-pointer, before baskets from Toolson and Dmitry Folovin opened 68-86 margin, sealing the deal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Eurocupbasketball.com
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Referees: PEREZ NIZ, MIGUEL ANGEL (ESP), MARICIC,SASA (SRB), CHEBYSHEV, SERGIY (UKR)
Attendance: 805 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
PAOK Thessaloniki29151610
Zenit St Petersburg19311722
End of Quarter1234
PAOK Thessaloniki29446070
Zenit St Petersburg19506789
PAOK Thessaloniki
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 TEPIC, MILENKO 26:52 14 6/8   2/4 3 5 8 2 1 2     2 5 22
5 LIAPIS, MICHAIL 5:11     0/1                       -1
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 30:48 13 2/3 3/7   1 2 3 2 3       1   15
8 KAKAROUDIS, KOSTAS 6:03         1 1 2 1   2     2   -1
9 TSOCHLAS, APOLLON 16:29 5 0/1 1/1 2/2   1 1 3         2 1 7
10 DEDAS, GEORGIOS 6:48     0/3     1 1   1           -1
11 MARGARITIS, VANGELIS 21:17 5 2/4 0/2 1/4 1 1 2 3 4 2     3 3 5
12 KOTTAS, THOMAS 2:00 2 1/1                         2
15 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 28:06 17 7/15   3/10 1 4 5   1 3     4 7 8
20 DUVNJAK, UROS 15:18 2 1/1 0/2   1   1           1    
21 MARKOVIC, NIKOLA 17:41 6 1/3 0/2 4/4 2 3 5   2 1   2   2 8
25 HATCHER, WILL 23:27 6 2/3 0/1 2/3   1 1 1 1 3     5 6 4
Team             1 1     1          
Totals 200:00 70 22/39 4/19 14/27 10 20 30 12 13 14 0 2 20 24 68
        56.4% 21.1% 51.9%
Head coach: MARKOPOULOS, SOULIS
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
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 ANTIPOV, PAVEL 20:12 12 2/6 2/3 2/2 2 2 4   1       1 1 12
6 TIMMA, JANIS 27:53 13 2/4 3/10   4 4 8 1 2 2     2 1 12
7 KOSHCHEEV, ANDREY 6:23   0/1     2 3 5     2     3   -1
9 MOTOVILOV, GRIGORY 2:00           1 1     1       2 2
10 TOOLSON, RYAN 26:15 29 4/7 7/12     2 2 2   2     3 2 22
13 VIKHROV, ARTEM 23:56 5 1/2 1/1     4 4 1   5     4 5 5
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON 13:59 2 0/2   2/2   3 3           5 1 -1
19 KARPUKHIN, ALEKSANDR 13:28 4 0/1 1/2 1/2       2 2       2 3 6
22 DOWDELL, ZABIAN 27:39 15 5/6 1/3 2/2 1 3 4 5 1 3     1 3 21
31 VALIEV, EVGENY 18:04 4 2/2 0/1   2 2 4   1 3 2   3 1 5
55 GOLOVIN, DMITRY 20:11 5 2/3   1/2 2 2 4 4 1         1 13
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 89 18/34 15/32 8/10 14 28 42 15 8 18 2 0 24 20 99
        52.9% 46.9% 80%
Head coach: KARASEV, VASILY

Head Coaches

MARKOPOULOS, SOULIS
PAOK Thessaloniki
"It was a very difficult game for us, Zenit proved to be at least one level higher than our team and Toolson’s entrance in the game completely changed the dynamics for us in both our defense and our offense. I believe that if Toolson had played in their previous game, Zenit would have not have lost a Eurocup game, just like they haven’t lost in the VTB."
KARASEV, VASILY
Zenit St Petersburg
"It was a very important victory for us because it secures qualification to the Last 32, regardless of the seeding. We came here with 10 players, we were missing our two main centers, so our big problem was stopping Sofo. We tried that with two big men at the beginning, but that slowed us down, so I decided to use a small team with a double team on Sofo. That worked for us, because when you have players on the floor that can make threes, penetrate, play defense, then you are in control and we also succeeded in containing Schortsanitis’s offensive game. That was the key for us. Congratulations to my players for giving it all on the floor."

Players

TEPIC, MILENKO
PAOK Thessaloniki
"It was a very hard game for us; Zenit is by far the best team on the group. We had a very good start, but they went more confidently to the rebounds and made some very tough shots, which gave them confidence. We made some mistakes and some really bad decisions in offense in the second quarter and we never recovered from that. Teams of that level don’t forgive such mistakes. There are still mathematical chances for us and we need to stay positive and keep our head high, otherwise there is no need for us to keep fighting. We will fight to the end."
MOTOVILOV, GRIGORY
Zenit St Petersburg
"It was a very hard game for us and we relied on fast breaks and making some tough shots in the beginning. From the second quarter on, we did exactly what our coach said, played a much more aggressive defense and got the victory."