Unics downing Galatasaray Medical Park 57-63
Unics got closer to the Top 16 in its first Turkish Airlines Euroleague season by downing Galatasaray Medical Park 72-61 in Kazan, Russia on Thursday. Unics improved to 5-2 in regular season Group D and will seal its ticket to the next round if Montepaschi Siena beats Union Olimpija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in a game later Thursday. Galatasaray dropped to 3-4, but keeps good chances to stay alive in the competition. Terrell Lyday paced the winners with 17 points. Henry Domercant added 13 - all in the second half, Lynn Greer had 12 and Vladimir Vereemenko tallied 11 points and 7 rebounds for Unics. Jaka Lakovic led Galatasaray with 11 points. Galatasaray got off to a strong start and a three-pointer by Preston Shumpert gave the guests a 21-23 edge after 10 minutes. Galatasaray led for the best part of the second quarter, but free throws by Lyday gave Unics a 35-34 edge at halftime. Unics found its usual go-to guy in Domercant after the break to get a 57-49 margin after three quarters. And Unics used outstanding defense to boost its margin to 67-51 and never looked back.
Unics tried a two point guard starting lineup with Lyday and Petr Samoylenko together on court. Jamon Lucas got Galatasaray going with a mid-range jumper, but Lyday answered from downtown for a 3-2 Unics lead. Jaka Lakovic, Mike Wilkinson and Josh Shipp joined the three-point shootout in a spectacular start to the game. A long jumper by Darius Songaila soon gave the guests a 6-10 lead. Wilkinson nailed his second triple, but a put-back by Songaila and an easy basket by Shipp saw Unics call timeout at 9-14. Lakovic shined with a layup off a steal and Unics kept struggling to find open shots and get Domercant involved. Zaza Pachulia split free throws, but Wilkinson downed a corner three-pointer to get within 12-17. Zakhar Pashutin stepped up with a layup that Cehver Ozer bettered with a triple. Greer made free throws and Pashutin struck from downtown before Galatasaray stopped the game at 19-20. A baseline jumper by Vladimir Veremeenko and a corner three-pointer by Preston Shumpert fixed the score at 21-23 after 10 minutes.
Veremeenko made free throws early in the second quarter and Greer struck from downtown to put Unics back ahead, 26-23. Luksa Andric stepped up with a second-chance layup and followed that with foul shots for a 26-27 Galatasaray edge. Shipp found space for a jumper, as Unics tried to run its offense through Domercant and Kelly McCarty without much success. Veremeenko beat the shot clock with a two-handed dunk, but a free throw by Lucas and a big basket by Ender Arslan gave Galatasaray some fresh air, 28-32. Unics kept missing open shots in transition until Greer nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key. Galatasaray tried a more scoring lineup with Lakovic and Lucas together. Pachulia sank free throws that Greer erased with a wild driving basket. Lyday made foul shots to give Unics a 35-34 margin at both teams headed back to the locker rooms at the break.
Domercant, who had been scoreless until this point, shined with a driving layup right after the break. Lyday soon added an acrobatic off-balance shot to give Unics a 39-34 lead. Galatasaray kept committing turnovers until Lakovic stepped up with a wild driving basket. Lyday answered in the same way and soon added a jumper to make it a 7-point game. Free throws by Domercant caused Galatasaray to stop the game at 45-37. Ozer scored in penetration, but Veremeenko matched that with a second-chance layup and foul shots by Lyday made it a double-digit game, 49-39. Shumpert answered from downtown, but Galatasaray kept allowing easy baskets. Veremeenko scored down low, however Shumpert nailed another triple to give the guests some hope at 51-45. Domercant followed a wild three-pointer with a floating layup to keep Unics out of trouble, 56-45. Lucas scored in penetration and a layup by Andric brought the guests within 57-49 after through three quarters.
Lyday kept pacing Unics with consecutive fast break layups early in the fourth quarter that boosted the hosts' lead to 61-49. Pachulia made free throws, but he didn't find much help. At the other end, free throws by Greer restored to Unics a 63-51 lead with seven minutes to go. The hosts had started to use long possessions to run the game clock down, as Galatasaray tried a more dynamic frontline with Furkan Aldemir alongside Shumpert. Greer fed Aleksey Savrasenko for his trademark backdoor layup and free throws by Domercant sealed the outcome, 67-51 with over four minutes left. Gordon buried a three-pointer, but a fall-away jumper by an unstoppable Domercant and Unics's outstanding man-to-man defense did the rest. Lakovic nailed a three-pointer, but it was already too little, too late for the guests, as all Unics fans were celebrating what could be a historic win.
Thursday, December 1, 2011