Red Star took a key step towards reaching the Eurocup Last 16 in Group F by thrashing PGE Turow 97-69 in Belgrade, Serbia, on Tuesday night. Red Star is now second in Group F with a 2-1 record, right behind undefeated leader Spirou Charleroi. Lawrence Roberts and Elmedin Kikanovic led the winners each with 17 points each, while Tadija Dragicevic added 16 and Vladimir Stimac and Marko Marinovic had 10 apiece for Red Star. Damir Miljkovic led Turow with 28 points on 6-for-10 three-point shooting. Alex Harris added 15 points, Bryan Bailey had 13 and Chris Daniels pulled down 10 rebounds for the guests. Despite Daniels's efforts, Turow was outrebounded by 33-21. Red Star led 32-25 after 10 minutes and boosted its margin to 56-35 at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Red Star managed to keep a safe lead all the way until the final buzzer to stay in good position to reach the next round.
Bailey opened fire with a triple in front of 5.000 spectators in Pionir Arena. Miljkovic joined him with a bomb before Bailey scored 5 more points. But Kikanovic kept the hosts going with a coast-to-coast move for a slam and later a layup to keep Red Star within 8-13. Kikanovic sparked a 9-0 run, but Miljkovic tied the score with back-to-back triples. Nemanja Bjelica and Andrew Owens of Red Star answered the same way giving the home team a 32-25 lead at the end of high-scoring first period. Turow’s defense had lot of problems with Kikanovic, who showed his skin with a three, but on the other end of the court Miljkovic scored his fourth bomb. The margin rose to 16 when Dragicevic and Boris Bakic scored layups and Roberts added a triple and a slam. With points from the line, Owens capped Red Star’s 11-0 run to make it 46-28 midway through the period. Red tar won the battle in the paint on both ends and thanks to fast penetrations and assists led 52-29. Turow managed to cut the gap in last minutes of first half, which ended 56-35.
The second half started with a triple from Bailey. Miljkovic joined him with 7 straight points, but Marinovic protected Red Stars double-digit lead. The visitors continued to play aggressive and that was the sign to coach Red Star head coach Pesic to send Dragicevic back on the court to shake the sleepy home side. Alex Harris cut the gap to 66-52 before Dragicevic and Kikanovic struck back with their own 7-0 run. Dragicevic added two bombs in a Red Star 8-0 run at the beginning of final period as the lead rose to 26 points. All that Turow players had to do was to try with shots behind the arc. Miljkovic hit a bomb, but it was too late to change anything. In minute 35 Red Star had comfortable 85-60 as the Red Star fans celebrated a second Eurocup win with huge margin.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008