De Colo's game-winner lifts CSKA past Fenerbahce
In a battle between the last two Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions that literally went down to the final second, CSKA Moscow sent a message that echoed all around the competition by downing Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul 79-81 on the road on Friday. Nando De Colo hit the buzzer-beating jumper that gave CSKA the win. CSKA improved to 21-5 in the regular season standings while Fenerbahce dropped to 18-8. Andrey Vorontsevich led the winners with 17 points on 5-of-5 three-point shots. Kyle Hines and Cory Higgins had 15 apiece, De Colo got 13 and 8 assists while Sergio Rodriguez contributed 10 points for CSKA. Nicolo Melli led Fenerbahce with 18 points. Jan Vesely added 13, Brad Wanamaker had 11 while James Nunnally scored 10. Nunnally shined early to give Fenerbahce a 9-2 lead but Hines and Vorontsevich led a 0-11 run which gave CSKA a 17-20 lead. De Colo kept CSKA in charge, 23-25, after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Rodriguez soon boosted CSKA's margin to 26-34. Melli and Nikola Kalinic stepped up to bring Fenerbahce within 40-44 at halftime. Vesely took over after the break, getting help from Luigi Datome and Kostas Sloukas to give Fenerbahce a 58-54 margin after 30 minutes. Vorontsevich and Hunter combined for nine points in a 2-11 run that made CSKA regain the lead, 60-65, early in the fourth quarter. CSKA led 69-74 in the next-to-last minute but Melli and Sloukas managed to tie the game, 79-79, with 11.1 seconds left, before De Colo sank the game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Nunnally got Fenerbahce going with a jumper which Hines erased with a put-back layup. A three-pointer by Brad Wanamaker sparked a 7-0 run which Kalinic capped with a layup for a 9-2 Fenerbahce lead. Vorontsevich nailed a triple and Hines added back-to-back layups but a red hot Nunnally followed a three-point play with a bomb from downtown to boost the hosts' lead to 17-9. Nikita Kurbanov, Hines and Vorontsevich fueled a 0-11 CSKA run which put the guests in charge, 17-20. De Colo stepped up with a driving layup and a deep three-pointer but Melli scored down low and downed a buzzer-beating shot from beyond midcourt for a 23-25 deficit after 10 minutes. Rodriguez hit a jumper early in the second quarter and layups by De Colo and Higgins made it a six-point game, 26-31. Rodriguez struck from downtown and Hines added a jumper but Melli and Wanamaker kept Fenerbahce within 31-36. Higgins scored in penetration and Vorontsevich sank his third triple but Kalinic followed a driving layup with a three-point play, Vesely made free throws and a turnaround jumper by Melli made it a one-point game, 40-41. A three-pointer by Rodriguez fixed the halftime score at 40-44. Datome sank a jumper after the break and back-to-back slams by Vesely put Fenerbahce ahead, 46-44. Hines rescued CSKA with a three-point play and Higgins scored down low, but Vesely got help from Datome and Marko Guduric for a 53-51 score. Othello Hunter tried to change things for the guests but a layup-plus-foul by Jason Thompson and free throws by Sloukas gave Fenerbahce a 58-54 edge after 30 minutes. Vorontsevich and Hunter combined for nine points in a 2-11 run that gave CSKA a 60-65 edge early in the fourth quarter. Vesely scored again and three-pointers by Datome and Melli provided another lead change, 68-67. De Colo stepped up with a layup, Higgins added free throws and Vorontsevich struck from downtown for a 68-74 CSKA margin with 3:30 left. Melli hit a jumper and Wanamaker added a layup but back-to-back baskets by Higgins seemed to seal the outcome, 72-78, with 1:14 remaining. Melli hit a triple, Higgins split free throws and foul shots by Wanamaker and Sloukas tied the game, 79-79, with 11.1 seconds to go. It all came down to the final play, which saw De Colo down a five-meter jumper to give CSKA the win at the buzzer!
Both teams play at home in Round 27 - Fenerbahce hosts Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Tuesday and CSKA welcomes Olympiacos Piraeus on Wednesday.
Friday, March 16, 2018