Zvezda holds off MoraBanc to remain unbeaten
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade held on for a tough 85-79 victory over MoraBanc Andorra on Tuesday at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall to remain undefeated in Group A. Joe Ragland poured in 24 points and dished 8 assists and Mouhammad Faye posted 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals for the winners who improved to 3-0. Michael Ojo added 10 in less than 11 minutes. Zvezda made 10 of 21 three-pointers (47.6%) and outrebounded MoraBanc 38-26 in two of the keys to the win. David Jelinek scored 18 off the bench to lead MoraBanc, Shayne Whittington added 13 and Dylan Ennis, John Shurna and Andrew Albicy netted 10 points apiece. Albicy also delivered a carerr-high12 assists as MoraBanc fell to 1-2.
Faye knocked down a pair of early threes to give the hosts a 12-4 start. MoraBanc players also heated up from downtown and went ahead 14-15 on a Jelinek triple. The visitors led 16-17 after 10 minutes and scored the first 7 points of the second half. However, Ragland scored 13 points to lead a 26-7 charge over the final six minutes of the half as Zvezda took control at 44-33. Ragland added 5 more points to his tally early in the third quarter for a 14-point advantage. MoraBanc did not fold; instead the visitors reeled off 12 unanswered points to get back in the game. The scoreboard showed 60-58 through three quarters and Ennis even closed the gap to a single point, but MoraBanc never did get over the hump. In the end, Ragland stepped up with another three-pointer just inside the final minute to help Zvezda seal the win.
Joe Ragland was at the helm for the key stretch of the game that saw Zvezda turn an 18-26 deficit into an 11-point halftime lead. He scored 13 points and assisted on another triple during that 26-7 run and added 5 more points early in the third t give him 18 in a span of 10 minutes. Although MoraBanc rallied late, Ragland was there again with a big three with less than a minute left and as it turned out, the home team needed almost all of those points to survive the MoraBanc challenge.
Among the numbers that tell the story of the game are Zvezda's rebounding advantage. Not only did it outboard the visitors 38-26, but when it missed a shot, the hosts got their own rebound nearly half the time. Zvezda had 14 offensive rebounds to MoraBanc's 16 defensive rebounds. It all led to 21 second-chance points.
Albicy re-writes the MoraBanc record book
Andrew Albicy starred for MoraBanc with the second double-double of his EuroCup career with 10 points and 12 assists. The assists were a club record and give him the top five individual performances in MoraBanc history. He also matched a club record with 5 steals. As a team, MoraBanc made 18 of 19 free throws and the 94.7% conversion rate was also best in club history.
In Round 4, Zvezda will visit Italy to play Germani Brescia Leonessa. MoraBanc returns home to take on ratiopharm Ulm.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018