2011-12Regular SeasonRound 9
December 14, 2011 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 ARENA ZAGREB

Unicaja bested KK Zagreb 67-72

Unicaja secured a spot in the Euroelague Top 16 for the seventh season in a row after downing KK Zagreb 67-82 in Zagreb Arena on Wednesday. Carried by big men Luka Zoric and Joel Freeland, and with some timely fourth quarter three-pointers by Berni Rodriguez, Unicaja moved to 4-5 in Group B with one game to go in the regular season. Zagreb, on the other hand, dropped to 2-7 in its first Euroleague campaign and will need a win in Kaunas and a lot of help from other teams to sneak into the next round. Freeland led all scorers with 17 points along with 8 rebounds. Zoric scored 16 and collected 8 rebounds, while Rodriguez scored 11 with all 3 of his three-point shoots coming in the final quarter. Hrvoje Peric added 10 points and dished out 4 assist n his second career Euroleague start. Krunoslav Simon led the home side with 16 points and 7 rebounds and Josh Heytvelt netted 12.

Unicaja opened the scoring through E.J. Rowland, but that was the only basket Unicaja managed in the opening four minutes. Damir Rancic hit a three-pointer and Simon's reverse layup gave the advantage to Zagreb. Gerald Fitch and Mario Kasun exchanged easy lay-ups before Freeland’s basket-plus-foul tied the game at 7-7. Simon scored a floater and a transition layup to give the home team another lead with help from big men Kasun and Heytvelt, who controlled their own paint with 2 blocks each. But Freeland and Zoric then both scored from inside, and after Kasun answered each time, Unicaja scored twice in transition through Zoric and Peric to tie the game at 15-15. Sean May made a low-post basket as well as the additional free throw, and Damir Mulaomerovic added couple more from the charity stripe to give Zagreb its first 5-point lead. Peric answered with a jump hook, Heytvlet made a long jumper, but Jorge Garbajosa hit a three to end the first quarter with Zagreb up 22-20.

Peric and Zoric extended the visitors’ run with easy baskets to start the second quarter, and Mark Payne scored in the lane to cap a 2-11 run and force Zagreb head coach Vladimir Androic to call a timeout after only 71 seconds in the quarter. Simon scored a runner, but Augusto Cesar Lima’s basket-plus-foul continued Unicaja’s success on offense. Kasun again found a way to score inside, but Payne’s jumper and Lima’s jump-hook gave Unicaja a 26-33 advantage with over six minutes left in the half. Both teams continued to push the ball; Simon scored a running floater and Rancic hit his second three, but Payne hit another jumper and Rodriguez drove down the middle to keep Unicaja in front 31-37. After a couple of turnovers and missed threes on both sides, Heytvelt made his first three-pointer of the game. On the other end, though, Zoric hit 4 free throws and Freeland’s tough layup and easy transition dunk made it 36-45 with less than a minute to go in the half. Heytvelt responded with a tough three-pointer, and then he missed one to end the second quarter as Unicaja held 39-45 halftime lead.

Freeland used a low-post move to open the scoring in the third quarter, and Simon answered with a layup. After Rowland and Mulaomerovic exchanged threes, Fitch split free throws and Zoric made both of his, followed by Freeland’s lay-up on a perfectly executed fast break to give visitors their first double-digit lead of the game, 44-55. Simon did once again penetrate through Unicaja’s defense for a lay-up, and May followed up with two free throws, but Unicaja answered with six quick points - Freeland made two long jumpers from the exact same spot and Fitch had a lovely drive through Zagreb’s defense to make it 48-61 after 26 minutes. Zagreb tried with a 2-3 zone defense that worked, but all they managed on the other end of the floor was one jumper by Saso Ozbolt. In the meantime, Peric scored a pirouette-like layup and Fitch hit long two to make it a 15-point game before Simon’s 2 free throws made it 52-65 at the end of three quarters.

Unicaja stepped up on defense allowing only 1 free throw in the opening three minutes of the final quarter and forcing 4 turnovers, while Rodriguez hit a three-pointer to loosen the home team’s zone defense. A jumper from the left side by Zoric extended the lead to 17 points, and Zagreb’s hopes for a comeback took a hit when Simon limped off the floor with little over five minutes to go. Rancic managed a basket-plus-foul, but Rodriguez hit back-to-back threes, and Peric’s coast-to-coast layup made it 62-80. Zagreb refused to go down as Petar Babic made a three-pointer and Heytvelt added free throws. After a Zoric turnover Zagreb had a chance to cut the deficit even more, but Zoric grabbed a rebound after Ozbolt’s miss, and then hit a jumper himself to seal the game making it 67-82 with minute-and-a-half to go.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Euroleague.net
Referees: TAURINO, PAOLO (ITA), ZAMOJSKI, JAKUB (POL), RUTESIC, ZDRAVKO (MNE)
Attendance: 3000 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
KK Zagreb22171315
Unicaja Malaga20252017
End of Quarter1234
KK Zagreb22395267
Unicaja Malaga20456582
KK Zagreb
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 MULAOMEROVIC, DAMIR 14:27 5 0/1 1/2 2/2   1 1 1   3     1 1 2
5 MASIC, ANTE 11:30     0/3   1 3 4           2   -1
7 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 33:25 16 7/12 0/4 2/2 1 6 7 2 3 5     2 2 14
9 BABIC, PETAR 16:03 5 1/1 1/1     2 2 3 1 1     2   8
10 KASUN, MARIO 22:05 8 4/7     1 5 6 1 1 5 1   3 4 10
12 DIA, PAPA 3:30 2 1/1           1         1   2
14 MAY, SEAN GREGORY 18:04 6 1/4   4/5 1 1 2   1 2   1 2 4 4
22 RANCIC, DAMIR 30:46 9 1/1 2/6 1/1   2 2 3 2 1   1 2 2 10
31 OZBOLT, SASO 18:22 4 2/3 0/3           2 2     2   -2
35 SARIC, DARIO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
42 HEYTVELT, JOSH 31:48 12 2/2 2/4 2/2   5 5     1 1   2 2 15
Team             2 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 67 19/32 6/23 11/12 4 27 31 11 10 21 2 2 19 15 63
        59.4% 26.1% 91.7%
Head coach: ANDROIC, VLADIMIR
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 FITCH, GERALD 28:08 7 3/5 0/5 1/2 1 4 5   3 3     3 4 5
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 21:04 11 1/3 3/5   1 2 3 2 1       2 1 12
6 ROWLAND, EARL 22:15 5 1/2 1/2     1 1 5 1 2       2 10
7 LIMA, AUGUSTO 5:19 5 2/6   1/1 1   1           1 1 2
10 PERIC, HRVOJE 30:48 10 5/8 0/3 0/1 2 1 3 4 3 3 2   1 2 13
15 GARBAJOSA, JORGE 17:22 5 1/1 1/4     3 3 1 2           8
16 ABRINES, ALEX DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 FREELAND, JOEL 28:38 17 8/14 0/1 1/1 4 4 8 2 1 1   2 3 2 17
20 PAYNE, MARK 19:44 6 3/4     1 2 3   2 2     1 2 9
21 ZORIC, LUKA 26:42 16 5/11   6/6 1 7 8 2 2 2     4 5 21
22 SINANOVIC, NEDZAD DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
34 BLANCO, SAUL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           3 1 4               4
Totals 200:00 82 29/54 5/20 9/11 14 25 39 16 15 13 2 2 15 19 101
        53.7% 25% 81.8%
Head coach: MATEO, CHUS

Head Coaches

ANDROIC, VLADIMIR
KK Zagreb
"We did not play a good game today. Our performance was not at the level of our previous games. We have to try to raise that level. There is not one part of the game that I can say was satisfying, maybe our win over Maccabi in the Adriatic league caused that. Players looked flat and nothing functioned right, from shooting to our defense. Simon left the game, he felt pain in his calf muscle. We have to see if it is anything serious."
MATEO, CHUS
Unicaja Malaga
"It was not a too beautiful a game that we presented, but we were practical both with the result, and with our game overall. I am especially happy with the second quarter when we stopped Mario Kasun and slowed Zagreb down and the left them without fast break points. In the beginning, we were a little bit nervous because of the importance of the game, but we did a very good job on defense. Our offense did not show a lot, but we secured a place in the Top 16 and that's what is important. "

Players

KASUN, MARIO
KK Zagreb
"I am sad we lost, but it looks like the game against Maccabi took its toll. We still have a chance to go through. We need help, but we should go to Kaunas next week to get a win and see what happens in the other games."
FREELAND, JOEL
Unicaja Malaga
"We came out here to play hard and we did it. They played very well, but we came out much stronger. We secured the Top 16 place and we are happy about it. That was our goal before the season. "
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