Dowdell makes history in Zenit's road win
Zenit St. Petersburg stayed undefeated in Group E by downing Szolnoki Olaj 75-84 in Hungary on Wednesday. Zenit improved to 3-0 while Szolnoki dropped to 0-3. Zabian Dowdell led the winners with 24 points on a near-perfect shooting performance (5-of-6 two-point shots, 2-of-2 three-point shots and 8-of-8 free throws), 4 rebounds, 14 assists and 5 steals for a performance index ranking of 51 - tying the Eurocup's all-time record for most index in a non-overtime game, which previously belonged to Vladimir Golubovic of Aykon TED Ankara Kolejliler. Kyle Landry added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Zenit. Milos Borisov led Szolnoki with 22 points and 10 rebounds. David Vojovda added 20 points while Rodney Green had 12 for the hosts. Zenit led 14-17 after 10 minutes, extended its margin to 31-37 at halftime and then again to 49-63 at the end of the third quarter. Vojvoda brought the hosts within 67-73 but Dowdell took care of business in crunch time to round a near-perfect performance.
Szolnoki found an early go-to guy in Borisov, who had 7 unanswered points to force Zenit call timeout. Landry tried to change things with a put-back basket which Strahinja Milosevic bettered with a three-point play. Zenit improved its defense while Ryan Toolson and Dowdell brought the guests within 11-8. Toolson struck from downtown while Artem Vikhrov and Landry gave Zenit its first lead, 13-15. A free throw by Kyryl Natyazhko and a basket by Artem Komissarov fixed the score at 14-17 after 10 minutes. Borisov made free throws early in the second quarter and Green put Szolnoki back ahead, 18-17. Dowdell had 5 points in a 0-6 run that restored a 18-23 Zenit lead. Natyazhko and Pavel Antipov traded triples and Toolson made it a seven-point game, 21-28. Landry kept pacing the guests with a couple of baskets but a three-pointer by Vojvoda gave the hosts hope at 27-32. Akos Keller found his first points and Vojvoda scored again but an unstoppable Landry kept Zenit ahead, 31-37, at halftime.
Landry scored again right after the break and a three-pointer by Antipov made it a double-digit game, 31-42. Borisov answered from downtown but Aleksandr Karpukhin and an unstoppable Dowdell soon made it a 13-point game, 37-50. Borisov and Vikhrov traded baskets and a three-pointer by Vojvoda gave Szolnoki hope at 42-53. Dowdell scored again but Vojvoda buried another one from beyond the arc and got help from Kristian Wittmann and Green to get the hosts within single digits, 49-57. A 0-6 run led by Dowdell and Karpukhin restored a 49-63 Zenit margin after 30 minutes. Landry and Vikrov stepped up for the guests early in the fourth quarter and Dowdell found Antipov for an easy basket that gave their team a 54-69 margin. Borisov and Vojvoda led an 11-0 run that gave Szolnoki plenty of hope, 67-73, with under 4 minutes left. Dowdell hit 4-of-4 free throws in crunch time and send his 14th assist to Landry for a 71-79 Zenit margin with 2 minutes to go, allowing Zenit to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015