MoraBanc ends UNICS win streak
MoraBanc Andorra's magical season continued with an 86-80 victory over UNICS Kazan to remain perfect in the Top 16 while snapping the Russian team's seven-game winning streak. MoraBanc was playing without top scorer David Jelinek and point guard Rafa Luz and fell behind 0-12 to start the game. But Andrew Albicy scored 21 points, John Shurna had 12, Michele Vitali 11 and Dylan Ennis added 10 points and 4 assists as Andorra moved to 2-0 in Group H. UNICS fell to 1-1 despite Regular Season MVP Pierria Henry picking up 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Melvin Ejim added 15 points, Jamar Smith scored 13 and Trent Lockett chipped in 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in the loss.
Ejim nailed back-to-back three-pointers and Lockett had 4 points as UNICS opened a 0-12 lead. David Walker finally got the hosts on the board after nearly 3 minutes. Shurna twice made 3 free throws and a Vitali three-ball knotted the game 14-14. Smith and Lockett each hit from long range for UNICS, but Vitali and Ennis had three-point plays that gave MoraBanc a 27-22 edge after 10 minutes. Jerome Jordan's basket to open the second quarter increased the lead to 7 points, but Henry's three-pointer trimmed it to 29-27. An Albicy three-point play had the margin up to 41-33 and Walker's second three helped put MoraBanc ahead 48-42 at the break. MoraBanc tallied the first 6 points of the second half - including a three from Albicy – to open a 54-42 cushion. UNICS rushed back into the game with Smith and Henry both scoring 5 points in a 1-12 run to make it 55-54. Errick McCollum's first basket gave UNICS the lead, 57-58, and his three-pointer made it 60-63. But Ennis punched right back with a triple of his own to push MoraBanc in front 65-63 after 30 minutes. After 4 points from Oliver Stevic made it 69-65, Henry knotted the game at 69-69. But the MoraBanc defense came up big without giving up a point for 5 minutes while Albicy nailed 2 three-pointers for a 79-69 cushion. Ejim snapped the drought and nailed a three to pull the guests within 79-74. Albicy hit 2 free throws at the other end, but an unsportsmanlike foul resulted in a Henry free throw and Ejim's score cut the margin to 81-77. Moussa Diagne came up with a huge offensive rebound leading to Albicy free throws and then Walker's basket after an offensive rebound secured the win.
With the game even at 69-69 early in the fourth quarter, Dylan Ennis started a 10-0 run that included 2 three-pointers from Andrew Albicy to go ahead 79-69 and UNICS could not get closer than 3 points the rest of the way.
Andrew Albicy was the Top 16 Round 1 MVP and followed that up with 21 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals and 7 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 21.
By knocking down a three-pointer in the first quarter, UNICS Kazan's Jamar Smith extended his streak of consecutive EuroCup games with at least one three-pointer to 49 games.
Andorra outrebounded UNICS 38-30 including 14 offensive rebounds, while also hitting 20 of 26 free throws (76.9%) compared to 8 of 11 (72.7%) for UNICS.
Andorra faces its next Russian opponent as it travels to Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday. UNICS returns home to host Cedevita Zagrab.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019