UNICS erupts in third quarter for win in Turin
UNICS Kazan used a big third quarter to extend its 7DAYS EuroCup winning streak to four games with a 72-82 victory at Fiat Turin. UNICS, which has already qualified for the Top 16, started the second half with a 3-23 run to take control of the game with Jamar Smith leading the way with 23 points, including 5 three-pointers, while Pierria Henry flirted with a triple-double with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Errick McCollum chipped in with 17 points and 6 rebounds and Maurice Ndour had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks as UNICS improved to 7-1 in Group D. Fiat remains the only team in the competition without a victory at 0-8 despite Carlos Delfino scoring 19 points, Jamil Wilson hitting for 12 points and Tony Carr coming up with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
Tyshawn Taylor opened the scoring for the hosts with Evgeny Kolesnikov answering at the other end. A three-point play from Giuseppe Poeta and another Taylor score made it 11-4, but Taylor was forced out of the game with an apparent groin injury. Anton Ponkrashov knocked down a pair of triples to get UNICS within 3 points, but Delfino also hit from long range and Fiat went ahead 20-14 after 10 minutes. Delfino free throws increased the gap to 22-14 before UNICS reeled off a 2-9 spurt with threes from McCollum and Ponkrashov to get within 24-23. The hosts' defense held UNICS to just 2 baskets in the final six minutes and Wilson scored twice at the other end as Fiat led 37-30 at the break. UNICS wasted no time in charging ahead 40-53 with a 3-23 run to start the second half with Smith hitting a pair of three-pointers en route to 10 points as the wheels completely fell off for Fiat. The home side turned the ball over 9 times in the quarter and trailed 45-57 after 30 minutes. The advantage grew to 15 points (49-64) after another Smith triple. Fiat was able to creep back into the game thanks to an unsportsmanlike foul on McCollum; Carr hit two free throws and a basket on the ensuing possession to make it 57-66 midway through the final frame. But Henry answered with 6 straight UNICS points and Smith was there again for a three. Fiat was never able to get closer than 8 points the rest of the way.
Another injury for Fiat
Tyshawn Taylor went down with an injury in the first quarter. Turin did get Carlos Delfino back in action, but the club was still playing without James McAdoo, Tekele Cotton and Simon Anumba.
The game was decided in the third quarter as UNICS opened the second half with a 3-23 run and never looked back.
Jamar Smith nailed 2 three-pointers in scoring 10 points in the big third-quarter run and added 2 more triples in the fourth quarter in hitting a team-high 23 points.
UNICS committed just 5 turnovers in the second half and out-rebounded Fiat 39-26, including grabbing 13 offensive rebounds. Fiat, meanwhile, hit just 2 of 15 three-pointers (13.3%)
Fiat will have a two-week break for national team action before it takes on Rytas Vilnius looking for its first win in the competition. UNICS heads back home for the next round and will host Unicaja Malaga in a game that could decide first place in the group.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018