Langford helps Unics to a Game 1 road win
Unics Kazan did not allow a single point in almost four minutes at the end of the game, and held off the host FoxTown Cantu 64-70 in the first leg of their home-and-away Eurocup eighthfinals series on Wednesday. Last year’s Eurocup runner-up, Unics took the lead early in the first quarter, but Cantu melted the deficit before halftime and briefly went in front in the third quarter. However, a 1-14 run that bridged third and fourth quarters put Unics ahead 55-65, and the visitors held on to go into the second leg on the home floor with a 6-point margin. Keith Langford and Sergey Bykov scored 14 apiece to lead Unics, while D’or Fischer amassed 11 points and 11 rebounds. Darius Johnons-Odom was game’s top scorer with 15 points, James Feldeine netted 12, while Eric Wiliams had 10 points and 7 rebounds in defeat.
In the early going, Fischer and James White sparked a 0-8 run, capped with fastbreaks by Bykov and Langord for 6-13. Run was followed by back-to-back threes from White and Langford for 9-19. Johnson-Odom and Feldeine answered with back-to-back shots from downtown for the hosts, 15-21, before Langford and Giorgi Shermadini traded baskets from close range, and Dmitry Sokolov ended the quarter with a put-back for 19-27. Feldeine buried another triple to start the second, and a three-point play from Awudu Abass got Cantu within 28-31. Fischer scored a pair of close-range basket for Unics, but the hosts answered with 6 straight points, including Stefano Gentile’s fastbreak layup that helped get Cantu within 38-39 at halftime.
A dunk from Williams, and back-to-back triples from Johnson-Odom and Abass gave Cantu 46-43, but the visitors scored on the next three possessions to re-take the advantage, 47-49. Feldeine and Johnson-Odom briefly kept the hosts in front, but Bykov’s basket followed by triples from Curtis Jerrells and Vadim Panin gave Unics 55-60 lead after three quarters, and a triple from Kostas Kaimakoglou, his first in six attempts, extend it to 55-65. Gentile snapped a 1-14 run with a three-point play, also fueling Cantu’s 9-0 response. Johnson-Odom and Williams cut it to 64-65 with under 4 minutes to go. Unics kept the lead, however, with neither team scoring for almost three minutes before Langford made a put-back then followed it with another basket and split free throws to give Unics a 6-point margin for the return leg.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015