Smith makes history as UNICS defeats Reyer
UNICS Kazan earned a crucial victory in the fight to reach the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 by fending off Umana Reyer Venice 90-87 on a historic night for Jamar Smith. The UNICS star scored 20 points, including 6 three-pointers to become the competition’s all-time leader in triples made. Isaiah Canaan added 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as UNICS improved to 3-2 in Group A. John Brown chipped in 16 points, Okaro White added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Jordan Morgan posted 11 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Reyer lost the game to fall to 2-3, but retained the head-to-head tiebreaker against UNICS. Michael Bramos evened his club record with 6 three-pointers in scoring 23 points while Isaac Fotu tallied a career-high 22 points in the loss. Stefano Tonut added 11 points and Austin Daye had 10 points and 5 assists.
Canaan and Smith opened the game with three-pointers and Smith hit a second triple to make it 11-6. Fotu came up with a pair of baskets and helped Reyer take its first lead 11-12. White answered with 4 points at the other end as UNICS went up 19-14 and was leading 21-19 after 10 minutes. Bramos started the second quarter on fire with 4 three-pointers and Jeremy Chappell added a triple to push Reyer ahead 28-36. Canaan and Smith answered from deep to pull within 36-38 only to see Tonut respond with Reyer’s final 9 points of the first half to make it 40-49 at the break.
UNICS came out of the locker room the better team with Morgan scoring 4 points and Smith draining a triple to even the game at 49-49 - and set the EuroCup all-time three-pointer record. Reyer took a timeout, but the guests could not get any offense going and Smith added another three-pointer as the UNICS run reached 15-0 for a 55-49 lead. Bruno Cerella’s triple was Reyer’s first score after nearly 5 minutes. Bramos drained 2 more three-pointers and teenager Davide Casarin added a pair of baskets to bring Reyer within 69-66 after 30 minutes. Bramos converted 3 foul shots to start the fourth quarter and tie the game and Fotu’s three-point play put Reyer back ahead 71-72. White countered with an and-one at the other end to make it 76-72. Fotu continued his superb game with 7 straight points, including a triple to knot the score at 83-83 with 3 minutes to play. Morgan answered with a putback and it was 86-83 when Daye missed a jumper with 34 seconds left. Brown tipped in a miss with 14 seconds to secure the win for UNICS. But Daye hit 4 free throws in the final 14 seconds to at least give Reyer the head-to-head tiebreaker over UNICS after winning Round 1 over the Russian side 85-78.
No. 1 shooter in EuroCup history
Jamar Smith had a historic night for UNICS. He overtook Rafa Martinez as the EuroCup’s all-time leader in three-pointers made as he shot 6 of 9 to give him 226 career triples; Martinez had 223 triples. Smith also passed Radoslav Rancik to move into 11th place on the EuroCup’s all-time scoring list with 1,135 points - just 3 points behind Todor Stoykov’s 1,138 for 10th place.
Career night for Fotu
Isaac Fotu had a historic night himself as he set career highs with 22 points - sinking 8 of 9 two-pointers and his only three-point attempt - and finishing with a personal best 30 index rating. The Reyer big man’s previous best PIR was 22 for ratiopharm Ulm against Zenit St Petersburg in November 2017. The New Zealand center had tallied 20 points for CAI Zaragoza against Szolnoki Olaj in January 2016.
UNICS dominated the boards, 37 to 26 - including 18 offensive rebounds. That played a big part in the hosts making up for Reyer shooting 60.0% on two-pointers and 47.6% on three-pointers. UNICS also forced Reyer into 18 turnovers while losing the ball only 12 times.
UNICS heads back on the road for Round 7 as it travels to Turkey to face Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul on Tuesday, November 10. Reyer returns home and looks to avenge its Round 2 loss at Partizan NIS Belgrade when it hosts the Serbian side the following day.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020