Fenerbahce Ulker stunned Unics Kazan 94-87
In one of the most exciting games in Top 16 history, Fenerbahce Ulker rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to edge Unics 94-87 in overtime in front of almost 12,000 fans at Ulker Sports Arena in Istanbul, Turkey in Group G on Thursday. FB Ulker needed to win by 6 points or more to stay alive, regardless of other results. Bojan Bogdanovic paced the winners with 20 points, but Roko Ukic became the game hero with a buzzer-beating floating jumper to send the game to overtime. Ukic added 18 points, Emir Preldzic had 13, Gasper Vidmar got 10 and Mirsad Turkcan pulled down 13 rebounds for FB Ulker, which improved to 2-3. Lynn Greer led Unics with 33 points, tying the third-best scoring mark in Top 16 history. Greer had a performance index ranking of 43, also tying for third-best with Terrell McIntyre in Top 16 history. Mike Wilkinson added 17 points, while Henry Domercant had 13 for the guests. An outstanding Greer allowed Unics to get a 21-26 edge after 10 minutes. FB Ulker trailed throughout the second quarter, but a three-pointer by Marko Tomas gave the hosts a 53-52 edge. It didn't last long, as a 2-16 run that Greer capped with an unbelievable buzzer-beating three-pointer from way downtown gave Unics a 55-68 margin after 30 minutes. Unics still led 73-79 with 1:23 left, but a 6-0 run that Ukic capped with a floating jumper sent the game to overtime, 79-79. Gasper Vidmar, Emir Preldzic and Bogdanovic took over in the extra period to lead FB Ulker to an unbelievable, exciting win in epic fashion!
Vidmar got FB Ulker going with free throws that Greer matched with a driving layup for a 2-2 tie. Domercant shined with an off-balance jumper but back-to-back driving layups by Bogdanovic and Roko Ukic put FB Ulker back ahead, 6-4. Ukic kept pacing the hosts with a huge basket in transition but Greer struck from downtown to keep Unics within 8-7. Ukic took over with another driving basket that Aleksey Savrasenko matched with a layup. Wilkinson sank a corner triple but Bogdanovic hit a one-handed jumper in the lane for a 12-12 tie. Greer made foul shots and a layup by Wilkinson made FB Ulker call timeout at 12-16. Engin Atsur nailed a triple only to see Greer beat the shot clock buzzer with a floating layup, good for a 15-18 Unics lead. Kelly McCarty made a close shot and Wilkinson scored again. Three-pointers by Tomas and Preldzic kept FB Ulker as close as 21-22. Greer made free throws and a layup by Savrasenko gave Unics a 21-26 edge after 10 minutes.
Wilkinson hit his second three-pointer early in the second quarter, but FB Ulker improved its defense. Meanwhile, Ukic sank a close shot and Oguz Savas scored down low for a 25-29 deficit. Wilkinson made free throws that Savas erased with a tip-in. A red hot Wilkinson swished another triple, as Unics kept circulating the ball well to find open shots. Preldzic hit foul shots and a layup by Bogdanovic forced Unics to call timeout at 31-34. Both teams had entered the foul bonus, which forced the coaches to change their defensive strategies. Bogdanovic split foul shots and a put-back basket by Savas got the hosts even closer, 34-36. Greer hit free throws and after Mirsad Turkcan sank a long jumper, a power basket by Domercant restored a 36-40 Unics edge. Ukic and Domercant traded driving layups and a corner jumper by Bogdanovic got FB Ulker a bit closer, 40-44. Domercant scored in penetration, but Preldzic fed Kaya Peker for a layup that fixed the halftime score at 42-44.
A put-back dunk by James Gist tied the game at 44-44, right after the break. Greer shined with a put-back layup and a driving basket for a 46-48 Unics lead. Ukic took over with an off-balance shot in transition and collected a steal that allowed Peker to give the hosts a 50-48 edge. Greer stayed unstoppable with free throws and Domercant downed a jumper but a three-pointer by Tomas back FB Ulker back ahead, 53-52. Greer buried another three-pointer as Unics tried a stronger frontcourt with Wilkinson and Nathan Jawai together on court. Atsur and Peker combined for 1-of-4 foul shots, but back-to-back layups by Jawai gave the guests some fresh air at 54-59. Terrell Lyday, who had been scoreless until now, took over with a wild layup-plus-foul and an unstoppable Greer buried a triple and banked in a double-pump bomb from almost midcourt to break the game open, 55-68, through three quarters.
Ukic tried to ignite the hosts' comeback with a quick basket early in the fourth quarter. Unics, however, kept locking the defensive board and running its offense through Greer. He found Jawai for a layup that Preldzic matched with a driving basket for a 59-70 FB Ulker deficit. Bogdanovic soon added a bomb from downtown to make Unics call timeout at 62-70. Vidmar took over with a put-back slam, as Unics struggled to score right when it mattered. Meanwhile, a floating jumper by Ukic made it 66-70 with under 6 minutes left. Domercant silenced the crowd with a big triple, but Vidmar quickly answered with a jump hook and Tomas struck from downtown to set the crowd on fire, 71-73. Vereemenko dunked, however Turkcan erased it with free throws. Veremeenko kept shining in crunch time, following a backdoor layup with an off-balance basket that seemed to seal the outcome, 73-79, with 1:23 left. Preldzic and Bogdanovic made free throws to bring FB Ulker within 77-79 with 25.5 second left in regulation. Wilkinson missed foul shots and Ukic beat the shot clock with a rainbow jumper that sent the game to overtime, 79-79, setting Ulker Sports Arena on fire.
Vidmar hit a jump hook early in the extra period and Greer split free throws for an 81-80 Unics deficit. Turkcan stepped up with a put-back layup that Wilkinson copied in the other end and a free throw by McCarty tied it again, 83-83, with three minutes to go. Bogdanovic shined with a turnaround jumper, as Unics kept missing shots down the stretch. Vidmar split free throws, grabbed his own offensive rebound and went 1-of-2 from the line for an 87-83 score. Another Unics turnover sent Preldzic to the foul line to give FB Ulker an 89-83 edge with under a minute left. More free throws by Preldzic and Bogdanovic allowed FB Ulker to get a 94-87 lead with 6 seconds left. Unics had a last chance to survive a tough test and keep its chances alive in unbelievable fashion, but was unable to convert and the hosts celebrated a wild win!
Thursday, February 23, 2012