UNICS dominates second half to beat Levallois
After trailing by double figures in the second quarter, UNICS Kazan took charge in the second half to beat Levallois Metropolitans on Wednesday at Basket Hall. UNICS retained a share of first place in Group A at 2-0, while Levallois dropped its second straight game. Jamar Smith produced 18 points and 4 steals to lead the hosts, Stephane Lasme scored 17, Melvin Ejim added 14 and Quino Colom recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists. UNICS took great care of the ball by dishing 23 assists and committing just 6 turnovers. Klemen Prepelic led Levallois with 21 points, but only 4 of those came in the second half as the visitors were limited to 22 points over the final 20 minutes. Gavin Ware posted 14 points and 8 rebounds and Boris Diaw had 9 rebounds and 6 assists in defeat. Levallois shot well from downtown in making 10 of 21 threes (47.6%), but made only 40.6% of its two-pointers (13 of 32), collected just 1 steal and made 16 turnovers.
Prepelic had the hot hand early with a pair of threes and a total of 8 points in the first five minutes as Levallois grabbed a 7-9 edge. Ejim and Smith had UNICS on pace with the visitors, but a Maxime Roos three-pointer and 3 free throws by Onyenma Nwaelele put Levallois up 5. Sylvain Francisco’s buzzer-beating three off the glass ended the first quarter with the visitors holding a 16-22 advantage. Fransisco added a jumper and Diaw fed Ware for a slam that pushed the margin to double figures. Lasme helped UNICS cut the deficit in half, but another 2 triples by Prepelic had Levallois cruising at 30-41. And the sweet-shooting Prepelic buried his firth three of the half to give his team a 34-46 halftime lead.
UNICS got an ideal start to the second half with baskets by Ejim, Lasme and Smith before Levallois got on
the board. Trent Locket scored twice before Lasme capped an 8-0 run that gave UNICS a 51-50 lead. Anton Ponkrashov padded the lead with a triple and the hosts held a 57-52 advantage after three quarters. Levallois narrowed the gap to 1, but Smith connected from downtown and Lasme added free throws to make it 66-59 with five minutes remaining. Ejim’s first three made it 72-63 with less than two minutes remaining and Colom iced the game from the line.
Unics heads to Turkey next week to face Darussafaka Istanbul, while Levallois will meet undefeated Fiat Turin at home.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017