Spartak St. Peteresburg remained unbeaten in the Eurocup by downing Krka Novo Mesto 71-57 on Tuesday in Group K. Spartak is atop the table with a 4-0 record and has to wait for the result of the game between Buducnost and Banvit later to know if it advances to the quarterfinals. The loss reduced Novo Mesto’s quarterfinals hopes to close to zero. Spartak started on fire the game with a 9-0 run and never looked back. It took an early double-digit margin and protected it for all 40 minutes. Vladimir Dragicevic led the winners with 19 points, Anatoly Kashirov bagged 15, Yotam Halperin tallied 11 with 4 assists and Patrick Beverley dished 7 assists. Zoran Dragic was the only players to score in double figures for Novo Mesto with 12 points, while Matej Rojc, Jure Balazic and Jure Lalic added 9 apiece.
Halperin opened the scoring from downtown and was followed by Kashirov underneath, before the same two players scored easy layups capping a 9-0 start. Balazic with a turnaround jumper stopped the scoreless stretch for Novo Mesto, then from mid-range Kashirov posted 2 more points answered by Edo Muric to make it 11-4. Halperin went end to end, and Beverley extended the difference to 15-4, which forced the guests to call timeout. Muric and Viktor Keyru exchanged three pointers, while Loukas Mavrokefalides and Uros Lucic nailed free throws. Then Dragicevic made it 23-9 with three minutes left. Matej Rojc moved the scoring for the guests with a jumper. Dragicevic pulled down an offensive rebound for 2 easy points to make it 27-13 before Lucic from the corner drilled a jumper to finish the first quarter on 29-15. Janis Strelnieks hit a mid-range jumper after two scoreless minutes for Spartak and Dragicevic with a turnaround jumper reached a 33-16 margin. Muric scored a pair from the foul line and Halperin dished an assist to Dragicevic for an easy layup, which was answered by a three-point-play completed by Lalic for 35-21. Dragicevic scored 3 of 4 from the free throw line and in between Lalic connected with Bojan Krvec for a layup. Then Balazic cut the margin to 38-25. Mavrokefalides drained a three-pointer, Balazic bagged a jumper with a soft touch before Kashirov scored 5 points in a row to make it 46-28. Dragic made consecutive layups, but a Strlenieks triple with 1.4 seconds left made it 49-34 at halftime.
Dragic scored a free throw and then a layup in open court to close within 49-37, but Halperin dished a lovely assist to Dragicevic before Smilijan Pavic hit another shot in the paint. The defense prevailed in this part of the game. Keyru scored a short jumper and then Balazic from the three-point land cut the deficit to 53-42, but Halperin ran the court to find an easy bucket for 55-42. Rojc’s jumper and Beverley’s rainbow shot were the only baskets over three minutes, then Kashirov from the foul line fixed the final 59-44 at the end of the third quarter. Kashirov scored, assisted by Strelnieks, to make it 61-44 early in the last quarter before Lalic scored three times from the foul line, but Dragicevic hit another basket in the lane and then a Rojc jumper changed the score to 63-49. Dragic hit from beyond the arc for Krka, Beverley made a step-back shot as the hosts put the game away early and marched to another Eurocup win.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012