Former Eurocup champion Unics Kazan locked up first place in Group F by going on the road to upend Telenet Oostende of Belgium 67-74 in the last regular season game for both teams. Unics finished with a 5-1 record and moves onto the Last 16, to which it had previously qualified, with good momentum. Oostende, which had already been eliminated, fought the good fight until finishing with a 2-4 record. Ian Vougioukas again led Unics with 18 points, while Mike Wilkinson played his first game of the season, scoring 16 in just 18 minutes. Chuck Eidson added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals for the winners. Oostende got 14 points from Matt Lojeski, 11 from Dusan Katnic and 10 from Mario Stojic as it said goodbye to the Eurocup for this season.
Eidson had 5 points in the game's first 2 minutes to shoot Unics in front 2-7. Stojic and Brent Wright accounted for all of Oostende's points as the hosts got within 5-7, but then neither team scored for almost 4 minutes. Vougioukas got Unics restared in the scoring column, while Lojeski did the same for Oostende, with his second basket, a dunk, making it 9-11. After Kelly McCarty traded points with Stojic, Vougioukas scored inside to seal an 11-15 lead for the visitors after 10 minutes. Wilkinson, playing his first game of the season, dropped a three-pointer for the bigges Unics lead yet, 13-19, early in the second. Back-to-back triples from Stojic kept Oostende close at 19-21 before Eidson answered from deep and Veremeenko powered inside for 3 consecutive layups. When Wilkinson struck again from downtown, Unics had a 0-12 run and a 19-33 advantage. Jean Salumu righted Oostende's ship with a three-pointer and Katnic made a pair of baskets in a row, but it was only enought to limit the Unics lead to 26-36 at the half.
Unics continued rolling with a 3-10 run to open the second half that featured 4 points each by Eidson and Wilkinson plus a three-point blast by Mire Chatman. Wright and Lojeski tried to answer for Oostende, but Wilkinson was obviously happy to be playing again as his next triple gave him 14 points in 18 minutes and Unics a 33-49 lead. Vougioukas and McCarty kept scoring enough to keep 8 quick points by Lojeski from impacting a 44-60 Unics lead after 30 minutes. Unics was content to trade points early in the final quarter. Oostende showed pride as a pair of dunks by Wes Wilkinson and another triple by Salumu worked the difference down to 8 points, 59-67. Vougioukas came to the rescue for Unics with 4 consecutive points to make it 59-71, rendering a dunk by Dragisa Drobnjak and Veselin Petrovic's triple to start the final minute too little, too late for Oostende.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012