UNICS locks up first place in Group H
UNICS Kazan locked up first place in Group H by running away from MoraBanc Andorra with an 85-63 home victory. Okaro White led the way with 18 points for UNICS, which took control with a 10-0 surge in the fourth quarter to improve to 5-0 in the group. Jamar Smith added 14 points, John Brown had 13 and Isaiah Canaan scored 12 points in helping the 2011 EuroCup champion to its fifth win in six contests versus Andorra. Haukur Palsson was the only player in double figures with 18 points for Andorra, which dropped to 2-3 in the group but is still alive for a spot in the quarterfinals.
White opened the scoring for the hosts with Jordan Theodore making it 4-0. Palsson scored Andorra’s first points on a three-pointer and his second triple gave the guests their first lead, 6-8. After Jordan Morgan put UNICS ahead, Clevin Hannah followed with 5 points for a 10-13 Andorra lead. UNICS stepped up its defense and went on a 13-4 run the rest of the quarter to lead 23-17 after 10 minutes. The beginning of the second quarter was a three-point party as Palsson and Jeremy Senglin hit from deep and Canaan drained two triples for UNICS. A three-pointer from Smith pushed UNICS’s lead to double figures, 35-25. Another Palsson triple and an Oriol Pauli dunk cut the gap to 5 points but UNICS led 43-34 at the break.
Both defenses started strong in the second half. UNICS did not score until White’s free throws after more than 3 minutes made it 45-34. Palsson didn’t get Andorra on the board until his free throw after more than 4 minutes. Tomasz Gielo trimmed the margin to 47-40. Canaan hit another triple and Brown converted a three-point play as the margin swelled to 53-40. Andorra was able to finish the quarter strong with another Palsson triple making it 56-49 after 30 minutes. Nate Wolters free throws opened the scoring in the final frame and Babatunde Olumuyiwa made it 58-51. But UNICS’s defense clamped down for more than 3 minutes and White and Smith both hit three-pointers in a 10-0 run for a 68-51 lead. Canaan’s triple pushed it to 71-53 with 5 minutes to play. The lead grew to as many as 28 points and Andorra could not get closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
Smith takes over second place on all-time scoring list
Jamar Smith’s illustrious career reached another milestone as he collected 14 points to take over second place on the EuroCup's all-time scoring charts. He took his career tally to 1,242 points in 101 games for Brose Bamberg, Limoges CSP, Unicaja Malaga and UNICS. Smith passed Rafa Martinez, who had 1,240 points. Valencia Basket star Bojan Dubljevic is the all-time leader with 1,445 points.
John Brown was outstanding all game with his energy and fantastic highlight action. All told, the UNICS big man collected 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 3-of-3 on free throws, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks for an index rating of 24.
UNICS shot 60.6% on two-pointers compared to 40.0% for Andorra. And the home side forced 17 Andorra turnovers and picked up 24 points off them compared to just 8 points for Andorra on UNICS's miscues.
UNICS will finish the Top 16 with a road game at Herbalife Gran Canaria on March 10. Andorra will have a date at home with Mornar Bar on March 10.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021