Bisons Loimaa seems like it can’t live without drama as Tuukka Kotti scored a game-winning basket 3.1 second before the end, lifting the Finnish side to a thrilling 74-73 win over Spartak Saint Petersburg on Wednesday. Win improves Loimaa to 2-2 in a share of the third place of Group H, while Spartak dropped its third straight game, and now hold 1-3 record. The two teams exchanged leads throughout the night, and Spartak held 72-73 in the final seconds, but Kotti scored his eleventh two-pointer of the game to send home crowd into celebration. Three of four games Loimaa played in its debut Eurocup season so far have been decided with a single point. Kotti finished with 22 points on 11-for-15 two-point shooting, and 6 rebounds. Billy Keys netted 17 points on 5 of 6 three-point shooting, Mikko Koivisto scored 14, and Antto Nikkarinen had 12 in victory. Yaroslav Korolev scored 19 for the visitors, Jared Homan collected 16 points plus 9 rebounds, and Donald McGrath scored 10 in a losing effort.
Homan scored 6 early points for the visitors’ 7-8 lead, but Bisons answered with a big run. Koivisto sparked it with couple of triples, while Carl Lindbom and Keys capped it with back-to-back triples at the end of the first quarter for 27-15. Spartak replied in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, with Alexay Surovtsev and Andrey Koshcheev putting together a 2-10 spurt. Nikkarinen and Kotti snapped the run, but Korolev strung together 7 points, including a triple, and McGrath hit a jumper just before halftime as Spartak took 32-34 into the break. Koshcheev scored 5 more points at the start of the third quarter, extending it to 35-41. But Koivisto and Nikkarinen scored from downtown, then Nikkarninen hit another triple for 47-46 entering the last minute of the thirds quarter. Homan’s jumper put Spartak ahead after 30 minutes, but at the start of the fourth quarter, Kotti scored couple of layups, and Keys sunk a three-pointer for 54-52. Korolev answered right back with a triple, and added a fastbreak layup to put Spartak back in front, but another triple from Keys and a layup from Kotti made it 59-57 halfway through the fourth quarter. Koivisto hit a triple, and Kotti made couple of buckets for the hosts, but Korolev and Homan kept Spartak within a single possession. Kotti’s dunk with 56 seconds remaining gave Loimaa 72-69, but the visitors regained the lead with a layup from McGrath and a put-back from Homan. However, on the other end, Koivisto found Kotti in the paint with 3.1 seconds to go, as the hosts claimed dramatic victory.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013