Fenerbahce chalks up road win at Zvezda
Fenerbahce Istanbul picked up a big road win in Group A, never trailing en route to a comfortable 60-74 win over Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade at the Kombank Arena in the Serbia capital. This is not only the first road win of the Euroleague season for Fenerbahce, but also a first road win for any team in regular season Group A. Fenerbahce improved to 3-1, while Zvezda dropped its third straight and is now 1-3. The visitors got off to a strong start with a 0-13 run to pull away. Vladimir Stimac strung together 9 points to get Zvezda within 21-25 in the second quarter, but never closer than that. Pero Antic nailed a pair of threes before halftime to help Fenerbahce open 31-45 lead at the break, and the visitors never looked back in the second half. The margin grew to 19 points twice in the third and fourth quarters, as Antic paced the visitors with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Ekpe Udoh contributed with 12 points, while Jan Vesely and Bobby Dixon each finished with 11 in victory. Stimac led Zvezda with 13 points and 7 rebounds and Ryan Thompson and Maik Zirbes each had 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Fenerbahce starts strong, Stimac rallies Zvezda
Vesely made a shot from close range to get things started, and Zirbes scored a layup to open Zvezda's account, but had to briefly leave the game right after with a cut above his eye. Kostas Sloukas drove for a layup, before Vesely made a three-point play, and Udoh finished a fast break with a dunk, 2-9. After a timeout, the visitors had two more breakaways, as Melih Mahmutoglu banked in a runner and Sloukas scored an easy layup, making it 2-13 only three and a half minutes into the game. Udoh knocked down a mid-range jumper, before Thompson snapped a 0-13 run with a three-pointer. Sloukas drove for a layup, before Stimac scored inside for Zvezda and then added a pair of free throws. He then finished his personal 7-0 run with a put-back-plus foul, cutting the deficit to 12-17. Antic hit a baseline jumper just inside the arc, but Stimac hustled and kept firing up the crowd. Vesely made another close range basket, and Antic’s reverse layup gave Fenerbahce a 16-23 lead. In the final minute of the quarter, Kalinic hit a pair of foul shots, before Thompson buried his second three-pointer for Zvezda, making it 19-25 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Antic and Dixon build visitors’ margin
Marko Tejic assisted Zirbes for an easy layup to open the quarter, and after Luigi Datome answered with a put-back, Marko Simonovic scored a fastbreak layup that made it 23-28. The scoring slowed down a bit, as Bogdan Bogdanovic banked in a runner, ending the visitors’ two-minute scoring drought. Tejic drove the baseline for a bucket, but Antic bettered it with a triple. Zirbes scored a layup inside, but Dixon also scored from long range for Fenerbahce, prompting a Zvezda timeout at 27-36. Jovic drove for a layup, but Antic nailed another triple, and with free throws from Datome the lead grew to 29-43 late in the quarter. In the final minute, Dixon drove for a layup, and Thompson made foul shots to make it 31-45 at halftime.
Third quarter: Fenerbahce in control
Datome opened the quarter with a short turnaround jumper, extending the lead to 16 points, before Thompson and Dixon traded driving layups. Udoh and Gal Mekel traded jumpers. Udoh added a layup to the tally, making it 36-53. Zirbes scored a layup, but Fenerbahce remained in control, not allowing another point for the next three minutes. Udoh made free throws, and after Simonovic hit a baseline jumper for the hosts, Antic nailed a wide-open triple, helping make it 42-59.
Fourth quarter: Zvezda cuts the gap as Fenerbahce cruises
Berk Ugurlu had a layup and Quincy Miller hit a jumper, both scoring their first points of the game. But Omer Yurtseven scored twice inside for Fenerbahce, opening up a 46-65 margin. Miller drove for a big dunk midway through the quarter, and Stimac scored from close range to cut it to 51-65. After Sloukas drove through a crowd for a layup, Stimac from the foul line and Marko Guduric with a driving layup-plus foul helped cut it to 57-68 with two minutes remaining. Before the game’s end, Vesely had a monster slam dunk and Nikola Rebic hit a triple for the hosts. Dixon rounded out the scoring with a layup as Fenerbahce finished the job.
Friday, November 6, 2015