Short-handed Virtus breaks records in win at Bursaspor
Virtus Segafredo Bologna shrugged off some big-name absences to start the 7DAYS EuroCup season with a convincing and record-setting 83-101 victory at Frutti Extra Bursaspor. Kevin Hervey scored 18 points to pace seven players in double figures for Virtus, which was without Awudu Abass, Nico Mannion, Ekpe Udoh, Mam Jaiteh and Milos Teodosic. Marco Belinelli scored 15 points, Amar Alibegovic had 14, Isaia Cordinier 12, Amadeo Tessitori and Jakarr Sampson both picked up 11 points and Alessandro Pajola added 10 points and 7 assists for the winners. The 101 points were the most the team has scored in a EuroCup regular-season game in club history. Allerik Freeman led Bursaspor with 15 points while Omer Al scored 14 points, David Dudzinski 13, Egemen Guven 12 and Onuralp Bitim chipped in 11 points in the Group B loss.
Hervey’s free throws opened the scoring for the guests and Dudzinski dunked for Bursaspor’s first score of the season. Belinelli followed with a three-pointer and a second score in a 0-6 spurt to go ahead 4-11. Bitim and Dudzinski drained three-pointers to bring Bursaspor with 12-15. Virtus responded with a 2-11 run with Hervey hitting a triple and Alibegovic completing a three-point play for a 14-26 cushion, which was 21-31 after 10 minutes.
Cordnier opened the second quarter with a four-point play and 4 points from Alibegovic increased the cushion to 24-42. Freeman and Guven tried to get the hosts back into the game with a combined 9 points as the deficit was trimmed to 36-47. Triples from Bitim and Al made it 48-54 before Hervey drained a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 48-57 lead at the break.
Dudzinski opened the second half with a steal and dunk to trim the gap to 7 points. Pajola answered with 4 points and Kyle Weems converted a four-point play and Virtus was back up 16 points. After 4 points from Hervey extended the advantage to 58-77, Freeman tallied 5 points as Bursaspor trimmed it to 66-79. The score was 66-81 after 30 minutes.
Bursaspor managed to score the first 4 points of the fourth quarter, but Virtus roared back with the next 7 points, including an Alibegovic triple to move ahead 70-88. Cordinier added a triple of his own and Virtus’s advantage was 72-93, ending any doubts.
Pivotal performer: Kevin Hervey did it all for Virtus
Only one Virtus Segafredo Bologna player played more than 24 minutes against Frutti Extra Bursaspor, but Kevin Hervey used his nearly 23 minutes of playing time the best. He collected a team-high 18 points as he made 5 of 8 shots - including 2 of 4 three-pointers - and all his 6 of his free throws. He also grabbed 6 rebounds while dishing out 4 assists and swiping 1 steal. All that resulted in an index rating of 26 for the man who played for Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar last season and excelled in his first year in the EuroCup.
Virtus sets club three-point shooting record
Virtus Segafredo Bologna set a club record in three-point shooting as it drained 9 of 14 triples for 64.3 percent. That topped the club’s previous best of 60.0% on March 5, 2020, against Darussafaka Istanbul in the Top 16. Virtus also set a club regular-season scoring record with 101 points, which topped the previous best of 98 from December 9, 2003, against Telekom Bonn. The opening-night showing ranked third all-time for the Italian powerhouse in the EuroCup. Virtus poured in 108 points in the Top 16 against Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana on March 2, 2021, and tallied 106 points versus Darussafaka Istanbul on March 5, 2020. It was the fourth time Virtus hit triple digits in the EuroCup as the team also scored 100 points in April 2021 - albeit in a thrilling Game 3 loss of the semifinals to UNICS Kazan.
Telling numbers: Virtus shooting too much
Not only did Virtus Segafredo Bologna make 64.3% of its three-point attempts, but it also shot 65.0% on two-pointers. The visitors converted 22 of 27 free throws compared to 10 of 15 by Bursaspor. The home side did connect on 63.9% of its two-point shots but was held to 33.3% on three-pointers. Virtus was better at penalizing mistakes as both teams committed 12 turnovers, but Virtus turned them into 20 points compared to 12 for Bursaspor.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021