Karasev leads Zenit bombers to home win over Cedevita
Zenit St Petersburg used its prolific long-range arsenal to pick up its first Top 16 Group H victory by 98-84 over visiting Cedevita Zagreb on Wednesday. Sergey Karasev knocked down 5 of Zenit’s 14 three-pointers in scoring 19 points while Marko Simonovic hit 4 from deep for 18 points. Jalen Reynolds added 14 points and 9 rebounds, Evgeny Voronov had 13 points and Gal Mekel dished out 9 assists as Zenit moved to 1-1 in Group H. Cedevita dropped to 0-2 despite 18 points from Jacob Pullen. Justin Cobbs had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals while Edu Muric chipped in 13 points for Cedevita.
Three-pointers from Ivan Ramljak and Filip Kruslin gave Cedevita an early 4-8 lead. Codi Miller-McIntyre's triple and Jarrod Uthoff's basket evened the score at 17-17 before Vladislav Trushkin put the hosts up 20-19 from long range. Cedevita answered with the final 7 points, including Pullen's three-pointer at the buzzer, for a 20-26 lead after 10 minutes. Elgin Cook extended the Cedevita margin to 20-28 to start the second quarter but Zenit responded with a 14-2 run that Karasev started and ended from downtown for a 34-30 lead. Cedevita struck back with the next 5 points but Simonovic took control for Zenit with 10 points in 3 minutes for a 48-44 advantage at the break. Zenit did not score for the first 2 minutes after halftime as Cedevita tied 48-48. The Zenit bombers then took flight with Simonovic, Voronov and Philip Scrubb hitting three-balls within 61 seconds for a 61-48 lead. Cobbs helped Cedevita fight back into the game with 6 points and an assist on Cook's three-pointer at 65-61, but Zenit stayed ahead 70-62 after 30 minutes. Karasev opened the fourth quarter with 5 quick points en route to a new 13-point difference, 75-62. Karasev added a fifth three-pointer and Uthoff followed suit to make it 85-66 with 6 minutes to play. Pullen's triple helped Cedevita get within 85-71, but Reynolds threw down a pair of big dunks to help push the gap to 19 points again. Cedevita would not get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Game changing sequence
It was an eight-point lead for Zenit to start the fourth quarter and the hosts nailed 3 three-pointers in a 17-4 surge for an 85-66 advantage and never looked back.
Sergey Karasev scored 10 of his 19 points in the big surge to start the fourth quarter and he added 2 rebounds and 3 assists.
Zenit dished out 29 assists while out-rebounding Cedevita 44 to 34, including 17 offensive boards.
Zenit will have a second straight home game as it welcomes MoraBanc Andorra to Russia in Top 16 Round 3. Cedevita returns to Russia to face off against UNICS Kazan.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019