Morgan shines as UNICS stays perfect by crushing Turin
UNICS Kazan moved to 3-0 while leaving Fiat Turin winless with a resounding 92-78 home victory in Russia. UNICS raced to a 31-6 lead after ten minutes – the biggest first-quarter lead in EuroCup history – and never looked back. Raymar Morgan was the outstanding performer for the victors with 25 points on 9-of-12 two-point shooting. Maurice NDour was another strong presence inside for UNICS, combining 14 points with 6 rebounds, while Errick McCollom added 15 points. Tekele Cotton top scored for Turin with 18 points and Tyshawn Taylor added 15. Tony Carr and Giuseppe Poeta both scored 11 in defeat.
A triple from Trent Lockett started the scoring and it was soon 7-0 before James McAdoo opened Turin's account. A flurry of baskets from Morgan made it a double-digit lead and an 11-0 run in less than three minutes – capped by a fastbreak triple from Jamar Smith – made it 24-5. The lead continued to grow as Artem Klimenko took over Morgan's inside dominance, before McAdoo made it more respectable with a couple of conversions. But UNICS remained on top and a triple from Pavel Sergeev after a no-look behind the back assist from Pierria Henry helped make it 49-27 at the half. Morgan and NDour started the second half strong for UNICS, but Turin then enjoyed its best spell of the game behind Poeta, who scored all the points in a 0-9 run. Even that wasn't enough to seriously threaten the lead, though, as 6 quick points from McCollom got the lead back to 20 points. A triple from Cotton made it 82-67 as Turin continued battling, and a spin move and layup from Carr made it a 10-point game. But it was too little, too late, and UNICS sealed the win.
Fiat only scored one basket while committing 8 turnovers in the opening quarter as UNICS mounted a strong defensive front. The Italian team never recovered from that slow start and the hosts cruised home.
Movers and shakers
Poeta is worthy of an honorable mention in defeat, taking over the third quarter with 9 points in just one minute and 17 seconds. It was too late to salvage the game, but at least he was able to restore some pride.
Morgan's fabulous start put UNICS in the driving seat early on. In the opening five minutes he scored all four of his two-point attempts and added a pair of free throws, scoring 12 of his team's first 17 points without missing a shot.
UNICS will attempt to stay perfect next week with a testing trip to Unicaja Malaga, while Turin remains on the road with a journey to Rytas Vilnius.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018