2019-20Regular SeasonRound 7
November 13, 2019 CET: 18:30
Local time: 18:30 ARENA STOZICE

Olimpija upsets UNICS for first home win

Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana registered its first home win this season by holding off Group C leader UNICS Kazan by 81-76 on Wednesday, denying the visitors early qualification to the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16. Olimpija's second consecutive win after raised its record to 2-5, while UNICS now stands at 5-2. Olimpija was ahead from the game's fifth minute forward, and used a 13-0 run to lead by 17 shortly before halftime. UNICS reeled it back to 65-62 before Olimpija found the will to finish it off. Center Mikael Hopkins exploded for 20 points to lead the winners. Ryan Boatright added 14, Codi Miller-McIntyre 13 and Jaka Blazic 10. UNICS saw Jamar Smith hit 6 of 10 triples for 26 points, but Errick McCollum was held to 6 before leaving the game late with an injured eye. Raymar Morgan added 15 points and Alex Tyus 12 for the visitors.

UNICS took a quick 5-8 lead before Miller-McIntyre's triple and layup put the hosts up 12-10 and Hopkins dropped a pair of baskets to make it 20-14. Morgan replied with consecutive baskets for UNICS, but Blazic had the last word as Olimpija led 26-20 after 10 minutes. Boatright added a jumper before Hopkins and Filip Kruslin lifted the lead into double digits at 32-22. Hopkins and Andrija Stepanovic inside and Filip Kruslin from deep ballooned the difference to 39-22 before UNICS reeled it back a bit with Smith hitting a triple and Tyus dunking for a 41-31 at halftime score. Morgan and Smith continued the UNICS recovery at 44-36 early in the third quarter. Miller-McIntyre and Boatright responded before Hopkins buried his second triple of the half to restore a double-digit lead, 54-43. A broken play ended with Boatright drilling a triple at 60-48, to which he added 2 technical free throws as UNICS head coach Dimitris Priftis was ejected. Evgeny Kolesnikov buried a corner triple for UNICS but Olimpija still held a 63-51 advantage after 30 minutes. Smith cut the difference to 63-56 with a swished triple early in the fourth quarter and kept hitting them until UNICS had gotten within 65-62 with more than 7 minutes left. Blazic and Boatright used free throws to sustain Olimpija until Edo Muric made it 75-64. When Blazic hit a second-chance three-pointer, it was 78-66, with under 4 minutes left. Smith hit his sixth triple from the corner and then fed Tyus for an alley-oop dunk to suddenly make it 78-72. Maik Zirbes converted a three-point play next and Olimpija's defense finished the job down the stretch.

Game-changing sequence

It was a close game until Hopkins opened the second quarter with a triple, which lit the fuse on a 13-0 Olimpija run in which Kruslin buried 2 more shots from the arc for a game-high lead of 39-22. UNICS had plenty of time and firepower to respond, but was never able to tie or lead after that.

Pivotal performer

Hopkins established his inside game early and then went out to drop triples like a guard, making 3 of 5 from downtown in the middle quarters. He compiled all of his 20 points already with 3:52 left in the third quarter and didn't need to score after that. He was 3-for-3 on free throws and hit 4 of 5 two-pointers for a near-perfect shooting night.

Making free throws count

Olimpija entered the game with the EuroCup's third-worst free-throw accuracy, 66.1%, which hurt while losing three games by 7 points or less. Against UNICS, that figure jumped to 20 for 23, or 87%, proving again that free throws count.

Coming next

Olimpija tries to make it three wins in a row when it welcomes Germani Brescia Leonessa to Ljubljana on Tuesday of Round 8 next week. The next night, Wednesday, UNICS tries to bounce back with a visit to Kazan from Nanterre 92.

Mikael Hopkins - Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (photo Olimpija) - EC19
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: FOUFIS, IOANNIS; SUKYS, ARTURAS; ALIAGA, JORDI
Attendance: 1800 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana26152218
UNICS Kazan20112520
End of Quarter1234
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana26416381
UNICS Kazan20315676
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 KRUSLIN, FILIP 20:53 6   2/6         1   2     1 1 1
3 BOATRIGHT, RYAN 22:42 14 2/7 1/2 7/9   3 3 2 1 1   1 4 4 10
4 KRAMPELJ, MARTIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 HOPKINS, MIKAEL 27:35 20 4/5 3/5 3/3 2 1 3 2 1 2   1 3 2 19
8 MURIC, EDO 22:38 9 2/4 1/3 2/2 1 3 4 1 3 2     2 2 11
9 MULALIC, MIRKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 MILLER-MCINTYRE, CODI 26:49 13 4/9 1/3 2/2   5 5 4 1 1   2 4 2 11
11 BLAZIC, JAKA 26:58 10 2/4 1/6 3/4 4 2 6 1   1       4 12
13 STIPANOVIC, ANDRIJA 13:52 2 1/2       3 3 1 1 2 1   3   2
17 ZAGORAC, SASA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 SIMONOVIC, MARKO 12:25 2 1/3 0/1   1 1 2 1 1 1 1   2   1
33 ZIRBES, MAIK 26:08 5 1/1   3/3   4 4           1 6 14
Team           7 4 11     1         10
Totals 200:00 81 17/35 9/26 20/23 15 26 41 13 8 13 2 4 20 21 91
        48.6% 34.6% 87%
Head coach: RIMAC, SLAVEN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
UNICS Kazan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 SERGEEV, PAVEL 10:35   0/1 0/3   1 1 2     1     1 2 -2
2 MORGAN, RAYMAR 21:19 15 6/11 0/2 3/3 1 1 2 2     1 1 1 4 15
3 MCCOLLUM, ERRICK 24:11 6 2/9 0/2 2/5 1 2 3 3 3 3 1   3 6 4
9 TYUS, ALEX 27:01 12 6/8     1 3 4   1 1 2   2   14
11 LIKHODEI, VALERII DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 KLIMENKO, ARTEM 12:59 6 2/2   2/3 2 1 3 1 1       2 3 11
15 SMITH, JAMAR 34:40 26 3/5 6/10 2/2   1 1 5 1 2   1 1 2 25
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 14:02 3 0/1 1/1     2 2 1   1     1 1 4
33 ANOSHIN, KIRILL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
42 KOLESNIKOV, EVGENY 24:59 5 1/3 1/2     2 2 1 1       3 1 4
88 KAIMAKOGLOU, KOSTAS 18:41 3 0/1 1/2   1 6 7   1 2     3   4
99 WILSON, JAMIL 11:33     0/1     1 1     1     4 1 -4
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 76 20/41 9/23 9/13 9 20 29 13 8 11 4 2 21 20 77
        48.8% 39.1% 69.2%
Head coach: PRIFTIS, DIMITRIS

Head Coaches

RIMAC, SLAVEN
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
"I think the defense in the first half was really great. In the second half, Jamar Smith is a player who, even with good defense, can score like he showed. But I'm very happy that we won the game and this is most important. It's good for our confidence. With this win we stay in the hunt for the second phase."

Players

HOPKINS, MIKAEL
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
"It was a must-win for us. I think our coach really prepared us well. After the first game, he really emphasized that they are a one-on-one team after they run their offensive set. So everyone just had to have each other's back. We knew guys would get hot for the other team so we just had to stick with it, run our offense and see the game out. We're not relieved. We have three more EuroCup games and we are going to try to win them all."
KOLESNIKOV, EVGENY
UNICS Kazan
"At first, we underestimated the opponent. We were not tuned in properly. It was their last chance to get into the Top 16. So, it was a big mistake for us. We expected an easy game and started the game playing offense, but we should have played defense. In the second half, we changed tactics, but missed some shots."
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