Spartak St. Petersburg send a message that echoed all around Group H by edging Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul 58-62 in both team's Eurocup opener on Wednesday. Donnie McGrath led the winners with 16 points. Artem Yakovenko added 15 while Steven Burtt had 10 for Spartak. Chris Lofton led Besiktas with 14 points. Muratcan Guler added 13 on 5-of-5 two-point shots for the hosts. Burtt and McGrath fueled a 2-15 run which allowed Spartak to build a 12-point lead, 10-22, early in the second quarter. Besiktas improved its defense and three-pointer by Guler, Osman Sirin and Kevin Foster brought the hosts back to life, 27-29, at halftime. Guler and Lofton allowed Besiktas to get a 45-39 lead early in the fourth quarter but Spartak answered with a 0-9 run to get the lead for good, 45-48. Besiktas never gave up but Burtt and Yakovenko allowed the guests to seal a very important road win.
McGrath and Brad Buckman traded triples in the early going and a layup by Colton Iverson gave Besiktas a 5-3 lead. A free throw by Doron Perkins kept Besiktas ahead, 8-7, soon after that. It didn't last long, however, as Burtt and McGrath struck from downtown in a 2-15 run which Jared Homan capped with a layup which gave Spartak a double-digit lead, 10-22, early in the second quarter. Guler and Sirin stepped up for the hosts, as Besiktas improved its defense. In fact, the hosts limited Spartak to 2 points in 6 minutes. Meanwhile, Foster, Sirin and free throws by Iverson brought Besiktas as close as 23-24. McGrath and Andrey Koshcheev kept Spartak ahead, 27-29, at halftime. Lofton and Homan traded baskets after the break and a dunk by Artem Yakovenko gave Spartak a 29-33 edge. Besiktas found a new go-to guy in Guler and a layup by Tomislav Ruzic put the hosts back ahead, 38-36. A three-pointer by Yakovenko made Spartak regain the lead, 38-39, at the end of the third quarter. Lofton took over with 5 points in a 7-0 run which gave Besiktas a 45-39 margin. It didn't last long, however, as Yakovenko and Burtt led a 0-9 run that put Spartak ahead for good, 45-48. Guler kept scoring but didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Yakovenko and McGrath kept shining in crunch time and a layup by Burtt sealed the outcome, 51-59, with a minute left. Besiktas managed to get within 56-59 but it was too little, too late for the hosts.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013