Unics Kazan topped Fenerbahce Ulker 76-71
A dominant second half from Unics Kazan saw the hosts storm back from 17 points down to top Fenerbahce Ulker 76-71 71 in the team’s Top 16 Group G opener on Wednesday. Petr Samoylenko starred with career highs of 18 points and 9 assists and Vladimir Veremeenko delivered 17 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks for the winners. It looked to be the Turkish champs’ night early, especially after Bojan Bogdanovic reeled off 13 unanswered points in the second quarter that helped stake FB ulcer to a 24-41 halftime lead. But Kazan, which scored just 9 second-quarter points, came alive after the break and Samoylenko and Terrell Lyday combined to bring the hosts within 1. Then Henry Domercant took over early in the fourth quarter to give Kazan the lead and more en route to an impressive victory. Domercant finished with 16 points and 3 blocks and Lyday scored 14 for Unics. Bogdanovic paced Fenerbahce with a season-high 24 points and Omer Onan added 12.
After a slow opening minute, Fenerbahce Ulker started the scoring with a highlight as Curtis Jerrells sent a pass from beyond the halfcourt line to James Gist for an alley-oop slam. Kazan countered quickly as Natahn Jawai used his speed and power to get to the rim for a slam and then Samoylenko and Mike Wilkinson nailed triples to make it 8-2. But Onan hit from downtown and Gist threw down a two-handed jam in transition to bring FB Ulker back. Onan’s second three of the night gave the visitors their first lead, 11-12, midway through the opening quarter. Jawai made his presence felt by rejecting Gasper Vidmar at one end and drawing the Fener center’s second foul at the other. A blown defensive assignment left Jawai wide open for an easy dunk and an offensive foul on Vidmar made it 3 on the visiting center. Jerrells ended the quarter with a pair of free throws to leave FB Ulker on top 15-18.
Emir Preldzic showed his versatility by getting to the offensive glass for a tip in, though Veremeenko did the same for the hosts. Preldzic added a triple to stretch the lead to 19-23. Bogdanovic started to heat up with a pair of free throws followed by a three from the right elbow as the visitors went ahead 21-28. Veremeenko got to the line, but missed twice. Bogdanovic punished the home team again with a three that put Fener ahead by 10. A timeout changed nothing as Bogdanovic nailed a three from the left wing and took a dish from Engin Atsur for a fast-break slam. Great passing featured Oguz Savas setting up Kaya Peker for a chippie to cap a 0-15 charge in which Bogdanovic accounted for all but 2 points! Domercant netted 2 free throws to end a nearly five-minute scoring drought. However the visitors continued to attack as Atsur connected from behind the arc to end the half at 24-41.
Samoylenko gave the hosts hope with a triple on the first play of the second half, but Gist matched him nearly a minute later. Lyday drove for a basket-plus-foul and Vidmar picked up his fourth foul as the hosts found some momentum. Samoylenko added 2 free throws and then Vidmar took a seat with his fifth foul just three minutes into the half. Lyday made it a 10-point game from the line. After a timeout, Marko Tomas nailed an important three for the visitors, but a two-handed Veremeenko slam and a Samoylenko steal and layup closed the deficit to 38-47. And free throw woes prevented the hosts from drawing even closer. Despite an Oguz Savas hook shot, Lyday kept Kazan cruising with a triple and then a fast-break layup. His three from the corner gave him 8 points during a 13-4 run that made it 47-51. After another Fener timeout, Onan beat the shot-clock buzzer with a triple. Domercant showed his worth on defense by blocking Preldzic and then Samoylenko pulled up for a mid-range jumper to make it 51-54. Lyday made it a 1-point game with a jumper off a behind-the-back assist from Samoylenko. Preldzic free throws kept FB Ulker ahead 53-56 heading into the fourth quarter.
The momentum was all Kazan to start the fourth quarter. After Veremeenko scored inside, Domercant struck from behind the arc to give Unics its first lead since the first quarter, 58-56. Jerrells penetrated to tie the score only to see Domercant pull up on the break for another three. And Domercant’s third triple of the night was followed by a short Samoylenko jumper that made it 66-60. After a few missed shots at both ends, Veremeenko lifted the hosts to 70-62 with two-and-a-half minutes to go. Bogdanovic kept FB Ulker alive with a clutch triple before Onan narrowed the gap to 4 from the line with 1:18 remaining. But a Veremeenko score practically sealed the win and when Atsur missed from downtown, the Kazan fans knew the win was in the bag.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012