Smith, Suarez lead Unicaja past Zenit
Unicaja Malaga recorded its first-ever 7DAYS EuroCup home win by downing Zenit St. Petersburg 93-86 in Group C on Wednesday. Unicaja and Zenit now have 2-2 records in Group C. Jamar Smith led the winners with 22 points, Carlos Suarez and Kyle Fogg each added 18 while Adam Waczynski had 11 for Unicaja. Suarez added 11 boards for a double-double in helping Unicaja outrebound Zenit 34-28. Ryan Toolson led Zenit with 35 points against his former team after hitting 7-of-18 shots from downtown. Pavel Sergeev added 14 points and Kyle Landry 13, while Stefan Markovic, who also played for Unicaja in the past, dished 14 assists for the guests. Zenit committed 17 turnovers in one of the biggest keys to this game.
Unicaja opened the game with a 7-0 run, which Jeff Brooks capped with a close basket. Toolson and Aaron White stepped up for Zenit and a reverse layup by Landry brought the guests within 12-9. Brooks kept pacing Unicaja with consecutive jumpers and Smith soon made it a double-digit game, 20-10. Toolson and a buzzer-beating triple by Sergeev brought Zenit a bit closer, 24-19, after 10 minutes. Anton Pushkov and White took over early in the second, bringing Zenit within 26-24. The guests entered the foul penalty midway through the second quarter, but kept finding easy baskets in transition and a three-pointer by Sergeev completed Zenit's comeback at 40-41. Smith answered from downtown, but back-to-back jumpers by Toolson kept his team in charge, 44-45. Fogg struck from downtown and a buzzer-beating jumper by Smith fixed the halftime score at 49-45. Both teams traded baskets early in the third quarter, as an acrobatic layup by Fogg gave Unicaja a 55-52 lead. Toolson briefly put Zenit ahead, 55-57 and a 7-0 run that Suarez capped with free throws gave Unicaja fresh air, 66-59, after 30 minutes. A three-pointer by Dani Diez made it a double-digit game, 69-59, early in the fourth quarter. Sergeev rescued Zenit with back-to-back triples and Toolson copied him to give his team hope, 73-71, with over six minutes left. Waczynski and Brooks stepped up in crunch time, causing Zenit to call timeout at 81-74. Landry singlehandedly brought the guests within 83-81, but Suarez and Smith struck from downtown to seal the outcome.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016