Crvena Zvezda Telekom rallied from a double-digit deficit to down Unics Kazan 81-73 on Wednesday night at Hala Pionir. The result left Group L wide open as all four teams now have 2-2 records, however, Unics managed to preserve a tiebreaker over Zvezda due to a 19-point win in their matchup a week ago. Unics led 20-30 in the second quarter, but Zvezda finished the first half with an 11-3 spurt, and then opened the second half with a 15-0 run to pull away and never look back. The hosts allowed only one field goal during the third quarter as the lead reached 16 points and Unics never came closer than 7 points rest of the way. Igor Rakocevic led the winners with 21 points, Rasko Katic muscled his way to 12 points, and Mike Scott scored 9 of his 11 points in the third quarter. Mire Chatman scored 18 for Unics, Chuck Eidson netted 14, Vladimir Veremeenko had 11 points, while Ian Vougioukas finished with 10 plus 6 rebounds in defeat.
Scott and Rakocevic opened the scoring with layups, but Terrell Lyday answered in the same fashion and started the visitors' run that also featured a basket-plus-foul from Vougioukas and a jumper from Eidson. With both teams pushing the pace of the game, Bojan Subotic snapped the 0-9 run with a triple, and Rakocevic added a three-pointer of his own for 10-11, however Lyday and Chatman hit shots from downtown on back-to-back possessions on the way to a 7-point lead for Unics. The hosts stayed close with a block and a fastbreak dunk from Boris Savovic, but Chatman made an acrobatic layup-plus-foul and Veremeenko had a dunk and a layup keep Unics in control, 20-26, after 10 minutes. Zvezda opened the second quarter with back-to-back threes from Marko Simonovic and Savovic, but Eidson hit a jump shot before Unics continued forcing ball inside to Veremeenko, who strung together 6 points to keep visitors' lead intact. The margin reached 10 points, 30-40, after Vougioukas, Lyday and Mike Wilkinson all hit long jumpers, but Zvezda managed to finish the quarter strong. Branko Lazic hit a triple and Rakocevic made a long shot and a nifty layup during the run of 11 unanswered points. A fastbreak dunk from Savovic ignited the crowd and gave Zvezda its first lead, 41-40, but Chatman made sure Unics had a 41-43 lead at halftime.
Zvezda had a dream opening to the third quarter, scoring 15 points during the first five minutes without allowing a single point. Scott scored 7 during the run, including a triple, Aleksandar Cvetkovic had a reverse driving layup and Rakocevic’s fastbreak dunk made it 56-43. Unics got 4 of 6 free throws from Kostas Kamakoglou, Vougioukas and Chatman before a triple from Rakocevic and a basket from Katic made it 63-47. Zvezda did not allow a field goal for eight minutes, before Wilkinson sank a triple for 63-50, and it turned out to be the last basket of the quarter. The fourth quarter started with a three-pointer from Vuk Radivojevic for 66-50, before Unics managed to get to the foul line to cut into the lead, and Eidson hit back-to-back threes that helped bring Unics within 69-61. But Katic scored inside, and Rakocevic hit a baseline jumper that restored a 12-point lead. Unics was not going away, and got to 73-66 with free throws from Chatman and Eidson, but Rakocevic sealed the deal with a three-pointer. Before the end, Savovic hit a jumper and Cvetkovic nailed a triple. Kaimakoglou rounded out the scoring with a layup.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013