Ivanovic sparks Buducnost to opening-night win
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica tipped off its 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup season with a 93-81 home victory over Germani Brescia in Group B. Nikola Ivanovic spearheaded a 14-2 Buducnost run to start the fourth quarter with 10 of his team-high 24 points. Justin Cobbs and Melvin Ejim both scored 16 points and Willie Reed added 13 points for the winners. Dusan Ristic paced Brescia with 17 points while Kenny Chery had 12 points and both Drew Crawford and Christian Burns netted 10 in the loss.
Rashad Vaughn’s mid-range jumper was Buducnost’s first basket of the EuroCup season. Brian Sacchetti answered with a three-pointer at the other end for Brescia’s first lead 2-3. Ejim’s three-pointer helped the home side open a 4-point gap. Ristic scored 6 points and Andrea Ancellotti hit from outside as Brescia used a 4-15 surge to move ahead 14-21. The difference stood at 19-23 after 10 minutes. Chery’s free throws opened the second quarter scoring for Brescia, which held Buducnost scoreless for more than 2 minutes before Suad Sehovic’s three-pointer. Ristic pushed the gap to 24-29 before Reed came off the Buducnost bench for 6 points and 4 Cobbs free throws had the hosts up 37-33. Ristic and TJ Cline both connected from long range for Brescia as the lead switched hands five times in the final 2 minutes of the first half. Brescia led 42-43 at the break.
The game remained tight in the early going of the second half with Crawford scoring 5 straight points for Brescia to nose ahead 46-48. Cobbs pushed Buducnost back up 53-52. Sacchetti and Chery both knocked down three-pointers to give Brescia leads, but were answered at the other end by 5 more points from Reed. The score was 65-65 after 30 minutes. Ivanovic took over in the fourth quarter with 2 three-pointers, a driving layup and jumper, while the Buducnost defense held Brescia to a single basket for a 79-67 lead with 3 minutes to play. Crawford’s free throw ended the drought and Cline hit a hook shot to trim the gap to 79-70. Ejim delivered the knockout punch with a three-point play and 2 more free throws for an 84-71 advantage with less than 2 minutes remaining.
Nikola Ivanovic was outstanding off the bench with 24 points, including two fourth-quarter three-pointers and 12 of 13 free throws made while also chipping in 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 11 fouls received for performance n index rating of 31.
Willie Reed or Willis Reed?
Buducnost big man Willie Reed produced like the Basketball Hall of Famer Willis Reed as the 30-year-old collected 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws to go with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in his EuroCup debut.
Buducnost outrebounded Brescia 43-26 and made 28-of-32 (87.5%) free throws while holding the visitors to just 8-of-29 (27.6%) on three-pointers. Brescia could not take advantage of committing just 6 turnovers.
Buducnost will head out onto the road for its next matchup against Boulogne Metropolitans 92 on Tuesday, October 6. Brescia will have its EuroCup home opener the following evening against ratiopharm Ulm.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020