Toolson shoots Zenit to home win
Sparked by Ryan Toolson's special shooting night, Zenit St. Petersburg finally saw off persistent visitor Buducnost VOLI Podgorica with a 84-79 victory on Wednesday in Round 4. Zenit improves to 2-1 while Buducnost drops to 0-3 in Group C. Zenit, which led by as many as 17 points in the first half and 13 in the second, needed all that cushion. Toolson by the end of three quarters had drilled 8 of 12 three-pointers and scored more points, 30, than any EuroCup player in a full game this season. But despite a 70-57 lead, the hosts had to sweat out the end before winning. Toolson finished with 34 points, one below his EuroCup career high, while Stefan Markovic had a double-double of 14 points and 12 assists. Aaron White added 11 points and Kyle Landry 10 for the winners. Marcus Williams scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime for Buducnost, while Shawn James and Boris Savovic 11 each.
Toolson hit 5 of 5 triples in less than 6 minutes to start the game by giving Zenit a commanding 21-7 advantage that Buducnost reeled back to 25-16 at the end of one quarter. Toolson opened the second quarter with his sixth strike from the arc, and soon Markovic added another as the difference widened to 35-18. But again Buducnost rallied behind Savovic and Williams to cut the difference to 42-35 at the half. The visitors got even closer, 47-46, on a basket by James before Toolson's next 2 triples, free throws and a two-pointer to end the third-quarter had Zenit back in front by double-digits, 70-57. Williams rallied Buducnost with a 5-14 start to the fourth quarter, with his basket cutting the difference to 76-71. But then Landry had 4 points in a 6-0 run as Zenit pulled away for good.
After three home games, Zenit hits the road for its next four, starting with Unicaja Malaga in Round 5. Buducnost takes the search for its first win back home to face FC Bayern Munich next week.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016