Albicy rescues Zenit in OT win
Zenit St Petersburg snapped its six-game losing streak by edging Zalgiris Kaunas 76-75 after overtime at Sibur Arena on Thursday. Zenit improved to 8-20 in the standings while Zalgiris dropped to 12-16 and saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. Andrew Albicy, who made the game-winning free throws, led the winners with 19 points. Colton Iverson added 14 and Gustavo Ayon had 10 for Zenit. Jock Landale scored a career-best 27 points for Zalgiris. K.C. Rivers added 14, Zach LeDay had 11 and Thomas Walkup dished 11 assists for the visitors. Landale and Rivers fueled a 0-14 run which helped Zalgiris to a double-digit margin, 12-27, after 10 minutes. Alex Renfroe and Andrey Zubkov stepped up for Zenit early in the second quarter and then Iverson and Albicy led a 14-0 run that brought the hosts within 40-41 right after halftime. Paulius Jankunas, Martinas Geben and LeDay rescued Zalgiris, giving the visitors a 47-53 margin after 30 minutes. Ayon gave Zalgiris a 66-60 lead with less than 3 minutes left in regulation but Edgaras Ulanovas, Landale and Walkup pushed the visitors to force overtime, 66-66. Once in the extra period, Landale and Rivers took over early, but Iverson, Austin Hollins and an outstanding Albicy put Zenit ahead, 76-75, with 2.8 seconds left. Rivers missed the final shot of the game at the buzzer.
Arturas Milaknis and Albicy each swished a triple to get both teams going. Mateusz Ponitka scored down low to give Zenit its first lead, 5-3. Zalgiris found a go-to guy in Landale, who scored 6 unanswered points. Rivers struck twice from downtown, the second one off an inbounds steal, and soon added a jumper to cap a 0-14 run that made it a double-digit game, 5-17. Ponitka rescued the hosts with a three-point play and Iverson added a layup to keep Zenit within 10-17. LeDay downed his trademark triple from the top of the key and Rivers insisted from beyond the arc. Renfroe scored in penetration, but LeDay and Rokas Jokubaitis boosted the visitors' lead to 12-27 after 10 minutes. Renfroe kept pushing Zenit with a three-point play early in the second quarter. Nigel Hayes hit a floater and Landale scored down low to make it a 16-point game, 15-31. Will Thomas sank a jump hook and Renfroe scored again, but Walkup and Landale kept Zalgiris way ahead, 19-36. Ayon found his first points and Zubkov struck from downtown, but an unstoppable Landale restored a 24-40 Zalgiris lead. Tim Abromaitis ignited the crowd with a dunk, getting help from Iverson and Hollins to give Zenit hope at 30-41. Iverson scored twice around the basket and Albicy downed a triple to bring Zalgiris within 37-41 at halftime. Albicy banked in a floater to cap a 14-0 run which brought Zenit within 40-41 soon after halftime.
Zalgiris had been held scoreless for almost 8 minutes when Jankunas and Geben buried consecutive mid-range jumpers. Thomas stepped up for the hosts, but Lukas Lekavicius nailed a floater for a 42-47 Zalgiris lead. Walkup hit a one-handed turnaround jumper and LeDay banked in a close shot to give the visitors fresh air at 44-53. Albicy sank a three-pointer to fix the score at 47-53 after 30 minutes. Ayon and Ponitka brought Zenit within 52-53 early in the second quarter. Hollins added a fastbreak layup to complete the hosts' comeback, 54-53. Thomas and Albicy each nailed a three-pointer to cause Zalgiris to stop the game at 60-53 after a 16-0 run. Landale answered from downtown and Ulanovas added a put-back layup to make it 60-58 with less than 4 minutes left. Ayon took over with a reverse layup and a fast break slam. Ponitka banked in an off-balance shot for a 66-60 Zenit lead. Ulanovas and Landale rescued Zalgiris, bringing their team within 66-64 with 1:17 left. Zenit missed three consecutive shots and Walkup drew a foul with 16.6 seconds left in regulation. He made both free throws and Zenit immediately turned the ball over. Rivers missed from downtown at the buzzer.
Landale put Zalgiris ahead with a dunk early in overtime. Rivers soon added a corner three-pointer for a 66-71 score with 3:22 left. Albicy beat the shot clock with a bomb from downtown, but LeDay quickly answered with a jump hook. Hollins found space for a driving layup and Iverson did better with a three-point play that caused Zenit to regain the lead, 74-73, with 1:23 remaining. After Walkup fed Landale for a huge dunk, Albicy and Hollins missed at the other end, but so did Ulanovas for Zalgiris. Albicy drew a foul with 2.8 seconds left and made both attempts for a 76-75 score. Zalgiris called timeout, but Rivers missed from beyond the arc at the buzzer.
Andrew Albicy made the difference, hitting the go-ahead free throws in crunch time. He finished the game with a career-high 19 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting plus 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 24.
Zalgiris led 66-71 early in overtime but Albicy beat the shot clock with a critical three-pointer. Austin Hollins got a big basket in penetration and Colton Iverson added a three-point play to give Zenit the lead, 74-73. It came down to the final shot, but Zenit showed resilience in overtime and that gave it a chance to win the game.
Zenit allowed Zalgiris to score 27 points in the first quarter, but only 39 in the next 30 minutes. That outstanding defense caused Zalgiris into 14 turnovers, which was one of the details that decided the game.
Did you notice?
Jock Landale played one of the best games in his short, promising EuroLeague career. He finished the game with a career-high 27 points on near-perfect shooting - 8-of-8 two-point shots, 2-of-2 three-pointers, 5-of-6 free throws. His PIR of 30 tied his personal best in the competition, but it was not enough to win the game.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week. Zenit visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Friday, March 13. Zalgiris plays on the road against FC Barcelona the same night. Zalgiris head coach won the first of his four EuroLeague titles as a player with Barcelona in 2003.
Thursday, March 5, 2020