UNICS gets pivotal road win
In a replay of their postponed game from Round 4, UNICS Kazan took a decisive step to make it to the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 in Group A by downing JL Bourg en Bresse 74-86 on the road on Thursday. UNICS improved to 5-3 in the standings while Bourg dropped to 3-2. Isaiah Canaan led the winners with 23 points. Jamar Smith added 20 while Jordan Morgan had 17 for UNICS. Kadeem Allen led Bourg with 17 points. Thomas Scrubb added 13, Zachery Peacock had 12 while Zack Wright got 10 for the hosts. The score was tied at 37-37 at halftime but UNICS took off after the break, getting a 52-68 lead at the end of the third quarter and keeping a very safe margin until the final buzzer.
Danilo Andjusic got Bourg going with a mid-range jumper and Alen Omic added a tip-in for a 4-2 lead. Canaan stepped up with consecutive layups but Wright struck from downtown to keep the hosts ahead, 7-6. Okaro White followed a layup with a jumper but Alen Omic and Peacock each scored around the basket to make Bourg regain an 11-10 lead. Wright and Canaan traded baskets, and John Brown gave UNICS the lead, 13-14, after 10 minutes. Pavel Antipov buried a triple early in the second quarter and Nate Wolters added a driving basket for a 15-19 score. Allen sank a mid-range jumper and added a layup in a 6-0 run that put Bourg back ahead, 21-19. Antipov kept pacing UNICS and Smith downed a jumper but Allen kept the hosts in charge, 24-23. Andjusic struck from beyond the arc and Scrubb added a jump hook but Antipov and Canaan kept the guests within 29-28. Omic took over with a put-back slam and Scrubb added consecutive basket but Morgan singlehandedly kept UNICS within 35-34. A three-point play by John Holland and a tip-in by Scrubb fixed the halftime score at 37-37. Dmitrii Uzinskii, White and Morgan each scored around the basket soon after the break, and Canaan buried a jumper for a 38-45 UNICS lead. Smith fired in a three-pointer and Morgan capped a 1-13 run for a dunk. Wright and Peacock each struck from downtown but Canaan buried consecutive triples and added a follow-up layup for a 44-58 score. Morgan got help from Brown to break the game open, 46-65. Allen brought Bourg within 52-68 after 30 minutes. Smith sank a jumper early in the fourth quarter but Pelos did better with a three-pointer and Peacock brought Bourg within 59-72 with over 6 minutes left. Smith and Canaan rescued UNICS with consecutive driving layups but Peacock and Scrubb got the hosts even closer, 66-76. White and Canaan fueled a 0-6 run which sealed the outcome, 66-82, as Bourg never recovered.
Canaan stepped up in a very important game for his team, pushing UNICS to the win. He finished the game with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 23.
UNICS improved its defense right after the break and started to find easy shots around the basket. Uzinskii, White and Morgan fueled a 1-13 run highlighted by Smith's three-pointer. That gave UNICS its first double-digit lead, 38-50, and the guests never looked back after that.
UNICS simply took much better care of the ball. It finished the game with 22 assists and only 9 turnovers, tying its season-low against Joventut Badalona on October 28. On the other hand, Bourg had 16 assists and as many as 15 turnovers.
Did you know?
With his 20 points tonight, Smith climbed to eight place in the EuroCup's all-time scoring list with 1,186 points. He went past E.J. Rowland (1,183) and is set to go much higher soon, as Mire Chatman ranks seventh (1,187), Marko Popovic sixth (1,188) and Alex Mumbru fifth (1,192). Bojan Dubljevic leads the all-time standings with 1,445 points.
Both teams return to action again in Round 9 action on Wednesday, December 9, and face each other again, this time at Basket Hall Kazan. It will be Bourg's first-ever visit to Russia.
Thursday, November 19, 2020