UNICS blows past Galatasaray
UNICS Kazan registered its largest win of the season, leading from start to finish en route to a 94-69 victory over visiting Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul on Wednesday night. UNICS improved to 2-1, while Galatasaray dropped to 1-2 in Group G of the Top 16. UNICS opened the game with a 15-3 run and then scored 13 consecutive points bridging the first and second quarters and open a 35-11 margin. The hosts never looked back as Galatasaray never came closer than 14 points the rest of the way. Errick McCollum starred against his former team with 17 points, while Jamar Smith had 15 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. Alex Tyus collected 14 points plus 9 rebounds, Raymar Morgan scored 12, Evgeny Kolesnikov netted 11 and Haukur Palsson finished with 10 points in a victory. Tai Webster scored a career-high 22 points, Zach Auguste finished with 14 points and Alex Poythress amassed 13 points and 14 rebounds, including 7 offensive rebounds, in a losing effort.
Jordan Theodore and McCollum got UNICS going and the hosts held Galatasaray scoreless for more than 3 minutes before Can Korkmaz hit a three-pointer. But Palsson had a pair of triples and Theodore a three-point play to open a 15-3 lead. UNICS did not allow another field goal for more than 5 minutes and Smith's triple made it 20-5 lead. Korkmaz ended Galatasaray's drought and Poythress got the visiting offense going late in the first quarter, but UNICS opened the second with threes from Smith and Kolesnikov, and a three-point play from Morgan in between, to increase the margin to 35-11. Webster opened his tally with a triple to snap a 13-0 run. Poythress and Webster were the only Galatasaray scorers, while Tyus single-handedly kept the margin over 20 points. Webster had a triple and a three-point play to cap a 0-8 run and get within 47-33, but McCollum replied with a triple-plus foul to make it 51-33 at halftime.
Baskets were few and far between early in the third quarter before Valerii Likhodei knocked down a pair of triples and Kolesnikov and McCollum nailed one apiece for a 65-40 lead. The visitors replied with a 0-7 run and with the help of Auguste and Poythress got within 69-52 going into the final quarter. But UNICS opened the fourth quarter with a 10-1 run, which included three-pointers from Kostas Kaimakoglou and Smith, to make it 79-53 and the hosts cruised the rest of the way, leading by as much as 29 points.
The hosts scored the first 6 points of the game and then went on a 9-0 run to open a 15-3 lead. UNICS then scored the last basket of the first, and the first 11 points of the second quarter in a 13-0 run for a 35-11 margin with 7 minutes left in the first half. The final UNICS run came to start the fourth quarter, a 10-1 spurt that made it 79-53 and sealed the deal.
UNICS knocked down 13 triples, while Galatasaray had just 14 three-point attempts and made only 4 triples. UNICS also finished with 25 assists, while the visitors dished only 12.
Jamar Smith entered the game with 998 career EuroCup points and it was only fitting that his first shot attempt of the game was a three-pointer that got him over 1,000 points, making him 17th player to reach the milestone. Smith also entered the game with ranked third all-time with 196 three-pointers made and with 3 triples in this one is just one shy of reaching 200 for his career.
Galatasaray's scoring struggles
Galatasaray had 33 first-half points, but 23 came from Tai Webster and Alex Poythress who scored every single point of the 21 Galatasaray scored in the second quarter. Aaron Harrison, who scored at least 12 points in every game this season, finished with just 4, all from a free throw line. In addition, Harrison entered the game having made 57 of 63 free throws on the season, only to make just 2 of 6 foul shots in the first quarter.
These two teams will meet against next Wednesday in Round 4, when Galatasaray will host UNICS in Istanbul.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020