Nizhny Novgorod knocks out Jerusalem to claim spot in semis
Nizhny Novgorod claimed a spot in the Eurocup Semifinals with an 88-72 victory over former champion Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem on Wednesday at Trade Union Sports Palace. Jerusalem had won the first leg by 3 in the Israeli capital, was unable to make its advantage stand up in Russia, where it hasn’t won since 1999. Nizhny got 10 three-pointers from six players, while Hapoel was just 1 of 8 (12.5%) from downtown. The hosts were also better from the foul line, making 14 of 15 (93.3%) compared to 15 of 23 (65.2%) for Hapoel. And Nizhny outrebounded the visitors 37-20. Lior Eliyahu scored 7 early points as the visitors grabbed a 2-9 (80-90 aggregate) lead. However Taylor Rochestie led a 15-0 second-quarter run. Art Parakhouski free throws made it 40-37 at halftime, which was a 118-118 aggregate tie, however the hosts pulled away with a big third quarter and Hapoel never got closer than 7 aggregate points in the fourth. Rochestie paced the winners with 18 points and 6 assists, Semen Antonov added 17 points, Dijon Thompson tallied 15 points and 13 rebounds, Dimitriy Khvostov also scored 15 and Primoz Brezec netted 10. Derwin Kitchen led Hapoel with 15 points, Eliyahu scored 13, Parakhouski 12 and Ronald Dupree 11.
The hosts went inside to Brezec for the game’s first basket. Eliyahu got Hapoel on the scoreboard. Strong Jerusalem defense and the two-man game between Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin helped the visitors open a 2-7 (80-88) advantage. Eliyahu scored again before baskets by Khvostov, Antonov and Brezec closed the gap to 3 in the game and 6 in the series. Kitchen and Dupree drained jumpers, but Brezec kept his team in the picture. Parakhouski’s steal led to a Kitchen layup and a 12-19 (90-100) Hapoel lead. Two quick fouls on Eliyahu landed him on the bench as Nizhny worked its way back on Vladimir Ivlev free throws. Josh Duncan free throws ended the first quarter at 15-21 (93-102). Antonov started the second quarter with a triple. Brezec and Parakhouski traded baskets inside before Rochestie connected on a triple from the corner. Antonov tied the game at 25-25 (103-106 in the series). A second Rochestie triple gave Nizhny its first lead in the game and tied the series on aggregate. Pavel Korobkov’s three and Thompson’s steal and tip-in extended Nizhny’s blitz. Rochestie penetrated for a layup to complete a 15-0 run that made it 35-25 (113-106). Eliyahu ended a four-minute scoring drought for the visitors. Jerusalem regrouped on defense and Eliyahu and Parakhouski each scored in the paint to trim the deficit. Parakhouski free throws ended the half with the hosts ahead 40-37 in the game and the series tied at 118-118.
Thompson became the fourth Nizhny player to make a three in the game, but Parakhouski and Kitchen kept Jerusalem close. A pair of Khvostov threes gave the hosts a 55-46 (133-127) cushion. After Eliyahu scored inside, Khvostov beat the 24-second clock with another three for a double-digit Nizhny lead. Hapoel wasted chances to close the gap as Kitchen and Eliyahu went a combined 0 for 4 from the charity stripe. Rochestie countered with a long jumper. After Duncan made free throws, Antonov buried a three on the third-quarter buzzer to make it 63-50 (141-131). After Wright scored inside for Hapoel, Evgeny Baburin’s three and a Korobkov slam extended the difference to 68-52 (146-133). A Kitchen three – Hapoel’s first of the night – cut the aggregate difference to single figures. Thompson scored on the offensive glass for the hosts. Rochestie added another three, but Wright countered with a basket-plus-foul. Free throws by Thompson made it 76-64 (154-145) with three minutes remaining. Khvostov and Thompson helped ice the game from the line. Duncan’s basket and Dupree free throws made it 80-70 (158-151) with 90 seconds to go, but a Rochestie jumper at the end of the 24-second clock all but secured a win for the home team.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014