Smith saves UNICS from Andorra late run
UNICS Kazan won its fourth game of the season by downing MoraBanc Andorra at home, 89-80, on Wednesday in a Group A game. UNICS is now 4-2 while Andorra drops to 1-5. Jamar Smith led the winners with 21 points, Trent Lockett posted 17 and Stephane Lasme added 16, including his first three in 29 EuroCup games. For Andorra, Jaime Fernandez led the losing effort with 16 points, Moussa Diagne added 13 and John Shurna netted 16. UNICS started dominating by 20-point leads, but a 2-18 run by the guests made it 71-77 in the last quarter until Smith's points put the hosts in a safe place for good.
UNICS started the game rolling. Points came from all direction with threes by Quino Colom, Jamar Smith or Trent Lockett while Grigory Shukhovtcov also hit a pair of buckets from the paint. Andorra was struggling to keep up, as John Shurna scored 5 points of his own to make it 17-11. The guests were having a bad time from the arc, 0 of 7, and UNICS used it to push a bit more with quick offense, 24-14 after a Stephane Lasme free throws, but Jaime Fernandez capped the first video with a nice bucket to leave it at 24-16. Despite Andorra's efforts in the second quarter, UNICS started raining threes again including one from almost mid-court by Anton Ponkrashov, to make it 37-24 forcing the guests' timeout. Jaka Blazic finally hit the guests' first three after 13 attempts, but UNICS was always finding an easy way through Andorra's defense for layups to stay ahead with no big worries, 49-31 at the break.
In the third quarter, UNICS could keep the big cushion around the 20 points. Smith and Lasme were still scoring at ease, while Andorra tried to look for a more collective effort, but the struggle from the arc always kept the guests way too far behind. Lasme even hit a three for UNICS, his first ever in the 7DAYS EuroCup after 29 games, 75-53 after 30 minutes. Moussa Diagne was contributing some heart in the paint for Andorra, and Fernandez hit a three for a 2-11 run all of a sudden that set the alarms in Kazan. In fact the run kept getting bigger and bigger as Guille Colom capped it at 2-18 with his own three for 77-71 after 35 minutes. It was Ponkrashov who stopped the bleeding with a three, and then Smith punished the zone defense of the guests again from the arc to put UNICS again in a safe place until the end, despite Andorra's efforts to come back.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017