Unics Kazan had to battle for all 40 minutes and survived a tough overtime test in Group I by edging Zadar 90-87 at home on Tuesday night. Unics managed to hold off a wild Zadar rally and escape with a key home win to bounce back from recent losses in the Russian League. Meanwhile, Zadar showed it is one of the teams to consider to reach the elimination rounds. Dusko Savanovic led the winners with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Playmaker Jerry McCullough added 19 points and 10 rebounds, Tariq Kirksay also posted a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards while Virgil Stanescu had 12 points and 9 rebounds for Unics. Shamell Stallworth led Zadar with 19 points on 4-of-7 triples. Todor Gecevski added 15, Jure Lalic had 13, Andrej Stimac posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards off the bench, Corey Brewer got 11 points and Rok Stipcevic 10 for the guests, that rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Savanovic had 8 points in a 10-2 opening run for Unics. Stipcevic and Gecevski tried to keep Zadar in the game, but Stanescu and free throws by McCullough
kept Unics ahead, 14-6. Lalic and Brewer fueled a 2-9 run that got Zadar back into the game, 16-15. Gecevski even managed to tie the game, 18-18, but
McCullough and a layup by Joseph Forte gave Unics a 22-18 lead after 10 minutes. Unics kept powering the offensive board to get second-chance points. Savanovic scored again and fed Kirksay for a triple, good for a 27-18 Unics margin. Kirksay capped a game-breaking 14-0 run with free throws, giving the hosts a 32-18 lead. Stimac stepped up for Zadar with a put-back layup and Stallworth found his first points. Free throws by Lalic and Stallworth ignited a 0-10 run that Brewer capped with a jumper to keep Zadar close, 34-33. Kirksay buried a triple and Sergei Chikalkin added his first basket to give Unics some fresh air. Nikolai Padius and a triple by McCullough fixed the halftime score at 44-35. Kirsay scored from downtown right after the break and Stanescu added a put-back basket for a 49-35 Unics edge. Gecevski and Stallworth combined for 6 quick points, but Zadar only managed to trade baskets now - until Juby Johnson scored from downtown for a 52-44 deficit. Savanovic stepped up with another layup and Dimitri Sokolov copied him for a 56-44 Unics edge. Gecevski kept pacing Zadar while Stimac gave the guests some hope at 56-49. McCullough and Victor Keiru stepped up for Unics, allowing the hosts to keep a 63-54 edge after 30 minutes. Stallworth led the Zadar comeback early in the final period, as the guests rallied from a nine-point deficit to get a 71-72 edge with 4 minutes to go. Stanescu, back in the game with 4 fouls, and McCullough rescued Kazan, allowing the hosts to force overtime, 78-78. Once in the extra period, Kirksay and McCullough took take of business, as Unics entered the final minute with a 87-84 edge and managed to keep its temper to register its first ULEB Cup win of the season.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007