Spartak St. Petersburg completed its Eurocup regular season campaign unbeaten in Group G after downing Benetton Treviso 97-77. Vladimir Dragicevic was the main contributor for the winners with 21 points, Loukas Mavrokefalides added 14, Miha Zupan 12 and Victor Keryu 11, while Patrick Beverley dished 10 assist and Yotam Halperin 8, for a total of 31 for the team. Jobey Thomas bagged 22 points on 6-for-6 shooting from downtown, Sani Becirovic chipped in 16 and Massimo Bulleri nailed 13 for Benetton. A 16-5 run early in the second quarter gave a 45-28 margin to Spartak, but the visitors answered close to halftime with a 0-11 run to finish 47-39 at halftime. A 21-8 run to open the second half made it a 21-point game and Spartak never looked back.
Thomas scored 5 points in a row to push Benetton to a 2-5 start before Valery Likhodey answered to make it 10-5. Gino Cuccarolo completed a three-point-play to get within 10-8 at the midway point of the quarter. Mavrokefalides and Keyru nailed back-to-back jumpers to complete a 12-3 run for a 14-8 lead. Becirovic scored in the open court for the guests, but Mavrokefalieds remained hot with two more baskets before big man Cuccarolo grabbed an offensive board to add 2 points for Benetton. Janis Strelnieks hit a deep three, Thomas scored off the pick and Zupan fixed the scoreboard at 23-14 for Spartak at the end of the first quarter. A long distance shot of veteran guard Bulleri put Benetton closer at 23-18, however Dragicevic hit a jumper. Becirovic again from downtown made it 25-21. Dragicevic assisted by Zupan in a high-low play gave another comfortable 34-23 margin to the Russian side. Andrea De Nicolao and Zupan exchanged three pointers before Anatoly Kashirov scored after pulling down an offensive board and Keyru from beyond the arc established the best difference so far, 45-28. De Nicolao capped, from downtown, an 11-0 run for the visitors to clim within 45-39 with 52 seconds left, before Kashirov scored in the post for the final 47-39 for the home team at halftime.
Mavrokefalides and Kashirov started on fire the third quarter to increase the cushion to 54-40. Becirovc hit back from mid range, but the Greek big man remained unstoppable for Benetton and Spartak got a 59-42 margin when he scored assisted by Beverley. Thomas and Aleksey Zozoulin scored triples and back-to-back jumpers by Dragicevic gave a margin over 20 to Spartak. Thomas did not give up scoring again from beyond the arc, copied by teammate Vlad Moldoveanu for the 70-53, but off the Spartak bench came Pavel Antipov to score 5 in a row fixing the final 77-58 after 30 minutes. Jakub Wojciechowski dunked the ball for the 79-63, while Keyru scored from mid range, and a Beverley jam made it 85-63. Zupan from threepoint land increased the margin to 88-65. Pavlin Ivanov of Benetton scored to finish the break and go on 88-72. Zozoulin dunked for the 95-74 and Thomas scored from long distance for the final 97-77.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011