Unics Kazan crushed Union Olimpija 81-51
Thanks to a roaring comeback after the halftime break, Unics made sure Union Olimpija didn't survive in Kazan on Thursday night and took its first home win of the season by 81-51. With a 39-34 after 20 minutes, the hosts stormed with a rain of threes that broke the game open and soon earned a 20-point lead for Unics, who never looked back. The third period ended with a 22-5 for Unics. The win allows the Kazan team to improve to 3-2 in Group D to finish the first leg of the regular season, while Union Olimpija dropped to 1-4. Terrell Lyday led all scorers with 22 points, his highest of the season, including 7 of 8 two-point shots. Mike Wilkinson joined him with 21 points behind 4 of 5 threes and 13 points in the third quarter. Vladimir Veremeenko added 11 from the paint as starting center Nate Jawai sat out injured. For Union Olimpija, only Ratko Varda reached double digits with his 13 points in only 19 minutes.
The game couldn't have started better for Union Olimpija as after only two seconds, Danny Green was already lifting a layup. Unics was struggling in offense
and Ratko Varda pulled three rebounds in as many plays as he scored and then Green joined him again with a three for a starting 0-7 that forced Unics' first
timeout. The results were seen fast as Henry Domercant opened score for Unics and then Terrell Lyday came to the rescue with two consecutive playes of basket
plus foul with aggressive drives to quickly put the hosts ahead to complete the comeback, 8-7. Union Olimpija was missing too many open shots and only Varda
was active in offense with long jumpers and even a bank three on the 24-second buzzer that kept the guests ahead, 13-16. Kelly McCarty had yet another
three-point play for Unics but Ben Woodside replied with a new three to make it 16-20, until Lyday scored his 10th point of the night to close the first
With Varda on the bench to get some air, Unics turned to Mike Wilkinson as the hosts first tied the game and then jumped ahead to 26-22. Union Olimpija had
to call a timeout, but Vadimir Veremeenko gave Unics its biggest lead yet, 28-22. With Varda back on court, Olimpija ran smoother in offense and other
players like Green or sasu Salin got their chance to score also, but in Unics there was one man and one name: Terrell Lyday. Hardly missing, he scored from
everywhere to keep the hosts ahead. It soon turned into a Lyday vs. Varda deal as the former was up to 19 points, his highest of the season, in minute 18
with a three for 37-29. Veremeenko was also providing support in the paint for Unics while in defense the hosts tried to double-team on Varda all the time
which allowed Jaka Blazic to hit a three for a 39-34 Unics edge at the break.
The third quarter started with a three-point festival for Unics as McCarty, Wilkinson twice and Lyday managed to be open to hit with no opposition and blast a 12-2 run that boosted the hosts into double-digit territory, 51-36, when the guests called a timeout. It was all Wilkinson's game now as when Olimpija adjusted the zone and Unics started missing from the long range, the hosts looked for their big men inside, and without Nate Jawai sitting out injured, Wilkinson and Veremeenko started adding points in the paint. The guests were trying to run in offense but only found scarce points as Damir Markota could lift a layup but Unics was soon leading by 20, 58-38, after another Veremeenko basket. Wilkinson was up to his 13th point of the quarter with a new three in the last minute of the period for a 61-39 that was starting to settle things down after 30 minutes.
Davis Bertans opened the last period with a three for Olimpija but it was only a mirage. With no Varda on court Unics could play at ease and soon Domercant was hitting his own three and then Wilkinson fed Aleksey Savrasenko for the 66-43. Another Olimpija turnover allowed the hosts for running as the lead increased little by little to provoke another Olimpija timeout. Unics never took its foot off the gas and the smothering defense continued along with points in offense, this time provided by the youngsters as Dmitry Golovin had five straight points including a three that made it even harder on Olimpija, 79-45. With less than two minutes Boris Rothbart was still active for Olimpija but it was clear that the first home win was staying in Kazan.
Thursday, November 17, 2011