Karasev, Reynolds rally Zenit past Valencia
In an outstanding battle in Group C, Zenit St Petersburg came back to beat previously undefeated Valencia Basket 104-93 at home on Wednesday. Both teams and LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne now have a 3-1 records in Group C. Sergey Karasev paced the winners with 26 points. Jalen Reynolds added 21 points, Philip Scrubb 14, Evgeny Voronov and Brandon Jennings 11 each, and Marko Simonovic 10 for Zenit. Matt Thomas led Valencia with 22 points. Mike Tobey added 16 while Sam Van Rosson had 12 for the guests. Matt Thomas and Van Rossom fueled a 2-10 opening run to put Valencia immediately in charge. Zenit answered with a 7-0 run which Voronov capped with a corner triple. Tobey scored twice in the paint and Sergi Garcia struck twice from downtown to help Valencia keep a 19-25 edge after 10 minutes. Bojan Dubljevic took over early in the second quarter and a layup by Alberto Abalde made it a double-digit game, 22-32. Gal Mekel stepped up for Zenit with a triple and Reynolds added consecutive dunks in an 11-0 run that brought the hosts within 31-32. A backdoor layup by Karasev soon gave Zenit its first lead, 35-34. Zenit kept rolling, as Voronov and an unstoppable Karasev boosted the hosts' margin to 49-39 at halftime. Three-pointers by Karasev and Simonovic gave Zenit a 57-42 lead soon after the break. Van Rossom tried to change things for Valencia but an outstanding Jennings and an inside basket by Evgeny Valiev kept Zenit fully in charge, 71-56. Fernando San Emeterio gave Valencia hope at 74-65 after 30 minutes. The guests improved their defense while Tobey and Thomas made it a two-point game, 76-74. Zenit found a go-to guy in Scrubb, who followed a layup-plus-free throw with consecutive three-pointers that sealed the outcome, 93-86, with 2 minutes left.
Scrubb made the difference down the stretch. He scored 11 of his 14 points in the final 6 minutes, when Valencia managed to get within 80-78. His three-point play, pair of three-pointers and 2 free throws allowed Zenit to celebrate a hard-fought win.
Jennings had 6 assists in exactly 3 minutes midway through the second quarter: 4 to Reynolds and 2 to Karasev as part of an 18-2 run that changed the game for good, allowing Zenit to rally and take a double-digit halftime lead.
Reynolds goes perfect 10
Reynolds scored all 10 of his two-point attempts in the game, becoming just the second player in EuroCup history to score that many shots inside the arc without a miss. Robertas Javtokas still keeps the record – 12 two-pointers, no misses – playing for Dynamo Moscow against Slask Wroclaw on February 19, 2008.
Zenit is the first team to score 100 points or more against Valencia in EuroCup history, which is remarkable, as Valencia leads the games played board with 186.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday, October 30 at 20:30 CET - Valencia hosts Dolomiti Energia Trento and Zenit visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018