Unicaja holds off Brescia's comeback
Unicaja Malaga registered its third consecutive home win in the 7DAYS EuroCup by downing Germani Brescia 86-69 at Martin Carpena on Wednesday. Unicaja improved to 3-1 in Group B while Brescia dropped to 1-3. Dario Brizuela paced the winners with 17 points off the bench. Francis Alonso added 15 and Adam Waczynski had 11 for Unicaja. Kenny Chery led Brescia with 18 points, Drew Crawford added 14 and Dusan Ristic scored 12 for the visitors, who rallied from an 18-point deficit to get a 48-51 lead late in the third quarter. Brizuela and Alonso stepped up in crunch time to make sure Unicaja cruised to an important victory.
Alonso got Unicaja going with a three-pointer and Alberto Diaz added a driving layup for a 5-0 lead. Ristic scored down low, but Diaz and Deon Thompson each struck from downtown in an 11-0 run that Tim Abromaitis capped with a layup for a 16-2 score. Crawford stepped up with 5 quick points, but Alonso and Yannick Nzosa kept Unicaja in control at 21-7. Crawford and Waczynski traded shots from beyond the arc and Luca Vitali downed a jumper to fix the score at 24-12 after 10 minutes. Brizuela buried a stop-and-pop jumper early in the second quarter and Abromaitis added a three-pointer in a 7-0 run that Nzosa capped with a layup that broke the game open, 31-12. David Moss and Christian Burns tried to ignite Brescia's comeback, but Waczynski and Brizuela kept Unicaja way ahead, 38-20. Brian Sacchetti and Chery each downed a triple in a 0-13 run that Ristic capped with a layup to bring Brescia to 38-33. Carlos Suarez sank a three-pointer, but Chery answered with a jumper to make it 41-35 at halftime.
Chery scored again right after the break and Ristic added a layup to bring Brescia within 41-39. Burns buried one from beyond the arc to complete Brescia's comeback, 41-44, after a 3-24 run. Diaz downed a jumper and Brizuela followed a layup with a three-pointer, but Chery and Crawford kept the guests ahead, 48-51. Ruben Guerrero ignited the crowd with a three-point play and Brizuela added a reverse dunk that prompted a Brescia timeout at 53-51. Sacchetti took over with a layup-plus-foul, but Waczynski and Diaz kept Unicaja in charge, 57-54, after 30 minutes. Unicaja found a go-to guy in Brizuela, who fed Guerrero for an alley-oop slam and added a layup and a triple. He found help from Alonso to restore a double-digit lead, 67-57, with 7 minutes left. Vitali and Burns tried to erase the deficit and Ristic added a jump hook, but Alonso kept Unicaja fully in charge, 72-63. Abromaitis sank a turnaround jumper to seal the outcome as Brescia never recovered.
Diaz had a fine all-around game to lead Unicaja to another win. He finished the game with 9 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists, 2 steals and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 17. He also received a warm ovation from Unicaja fans when he headed to the bench with a minute left.
Unicaja trailed 55-54 late in the third quarter, but Brizuela stepped up to make the difference, finding Guerrero for an alley-oop slam, adding a layup and then a three-point shot. Alonso soon helped with a jumper that caused Brescia to call timeout at 67-57. Brescia never recovered.
Turnovers and two-point shots made the difference in this game. Brescia committed 19 turnovers and Unicaja made just 8. Unicaja also made 22 of 35 shots inside the arc (62.9%) and limited Brescia to 17-of-31 shooting (54.8%).
Did you know?
Unicaja won its seventh consecutive home game against an Italian team; its last loss came against Montepaschi Siena in the 2013-14 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. Unicaja is undefeated at home against Italian teams in EuroCup action with an 89-68 victory against Fiat Torino in the 2018-19 campaign and a 93-74 win over Dolomiti Energia Trento last season.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action next week. Unicaja visits ratiopharm Ulm on Wednesday, October 28. Brescia welcomes Boulougne Metropolitans 92 the same evening.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020