Besiktas eliminated despite a rout of Zenit
In what turned out to be its last game in the Eurocup this season, Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul routed Group E winner Zenit St. Petersburg 91-67 on Wednesday. A win snapped Besiktas’ five-game losing streak, but Besiktas learned during the third quarter it lost its chance of qualifying to the Last 32 as PAOK Thessaloniki beat Lietuvos Rytas to claim fourth place in Group E. Besiktas finished in fifth place with 4-6 record, while Zenit is 8-2, having already clinched first place in the group. Nate Wolters paced Besiktas with 15 points. Cenk Akyol and Maciej Lampe each scored 13, while Randy Culpepper had 12 points in victory. Anton Pushkov collected 12 points and 11 rebounds for the visitors, while Pavel Antipov collected 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Andrey Koshcheev also scored 10 points for Zenit.
Besiktas wasted little time before pulling away. Triples from Tremmell Darden and Culpepper got Besiktas to 8-2 start, and another basket from Culpepper extended it to 12-4. Pushkov got Zenit going, and Antipov scored to make it 18-14. A three-point play by Wolters and back-to-back triples in the final minute of the quarter by Engin Atsur and Erik Murphy made it 29-19 after 10 minutes, before Murphy and Wolters extended it to 34-19 early in the second. Baskets from Puhskin and Artem Vikhorov snapped an 11-0 run, but Lampe scored his first basket of the game, followed by back-to-back-to-back threes from Akyol, Murphy and Culpepper that opened 45-23 margin. Ryan Toolson snapped this 11-0 run with a three-pointer midway through the second quarter, and Antipov scored from long range for the visitors, too. However, in the final 60 seconds of the second period, Muratcan Guler buried one from long range for the hosts, and after Lamont Hamilton had a basket-plus-foul, Wolters finished first half with a three-pointer of his own that got Besiktas to 56-31 at halftime.
Toolson with a triple, and Pushkov helped cut the deficit in the third quarter, and Aleksandr Karpukhin also hit from downtown for Zenit, making it 58-42 after 4:30 played in the third quarter. Consecutive baskets from Lampe and Hamilton got the margin back into the 20s, and after Karpukhin hit his second triple, Lampe and Culpepper made it 66-47 at the end of third. Lampe’s basket-plus-foul and Akyol’s triple made it 72-47 early in the fourth. Koshcheev scored twice for Zenit, but Wolters had a three-point play and Akyol hit back-to-back three-pointers to restore 81-56 with 5 minutes left to play and Besiktas cruised the rest of the way.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015