Caner-Medley shines as Unicaja dominates
Unicaja Malaga led from start to finish, downing newcomer Stelmet Zielona Gora 101-68 on Friday night in Martin Carpena Arena. The hosts picked up their first win of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague campaign in Group C, while Zielona Gora dropped to 0-2. Paced by a career-night from Nik Caner-Medley, Unicaja pulled away in the second quarter, using a full-court press, forcing turnovers and getting easy baskets. A 25-5 spurt helped it open up 55-27 margin just before halftime, and the hosts cruised after that. Caner-Medley had career-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Mindaugas Kuzminskas finished with 15, Zoran Dragic scored 12, Fran Vazquez added 11 points, while Jayson Granger netted 10. Earl Calloway had 9 points and 9 assists in victory. Vladimir Dragicevic was the visitors’ bright spot with 20 points, and Przemyslaw Zamojski scored 11 in defeat.
First quarter: Hosts in control after 11 points from Caner-Medley
Unicaja started the game with Calloway running the show, and finding Rafael Hettsheimer and Dragic for layups. Aaron Cel opened visitors' account, before Caner-Medley strung together 7 points, including a triple for 11-4. Dragicevic scored a put-back for Zielona Gora, but Calloway stole the ball and raced for an uncontested layup and a 15-6 midway through the first quarter. Dragicevic kept the visitors in range with baskets from close range, before David Barlow nailed a three-pointer for 18-13. But Caner-Medley was the first player in the double digits after sinking a jumper, and Vazquez made a basket-plus-foul, helping extend the margin to 24-13. Baskets inside from Adam Hrycaniuk and Barlow helped the visitors get closer, however, before Erwin Walker beat the buzzer from close range, cutting it to 24-19 at the end of the first.
Second quarter: Unicaja dominates to a 23-point halftime lead
Unicaja opened the second quarter dominating on the offensive boards, and Vladimir Stimac scored his first points of the night, tipping in Sergi Vidal's pass. Dragicevic made a basket-plus-foul and a layup for Zielona Gora, but Granger hit from close range, then back-to-back from long range, to make it 36-24. Dragic added one of his from downtown, and Caner-Medley made a two-handed slam for 41-24. Przemyslaw Zamojski went coast-to-coast for the visitors, but what followed was a 13-0 run. Mindaugas Kuzminskas sparked it with a triple, then assisted Calloway for a fastbreak layup. After a timeout, Calloway sank a triple, then stole the ball and assisted Dragic for a layup as the margin reached 28 points. Marcin Sroka snapped the run with a put-back, and Barlow hit a three-pointer, making it 55-32 at halftime.
Third quarter: Offenses pick up, the hosts cruise
Caner-Medley scored a layup to start the third quarter, and Dragicevic continued to be an offensive presence for the visitors with another basket-plus-foul. A put-back from Vazquez was followed with buckets inside from Christian Eyenga and Dragicevic, but Caner-Medley hit from downtown for 65-40. The two sides kept trading baskets, with Craig Brackins and Zamojski adding to Zielona Gora’s tally, while Vazquez had an easy two-handed slam and Vidal nailed a triple for Unicaja. The fast pace continued as Caner-Medley made another dunk, but a layup from Dragicevic, and a basket-plus foul from Sroka cut it 74-52. Suarez sank a triple on the other end, before a couple of defensive stops started changing the pace of the game that looked to be all but decided. Unicaja did not allow a point in the final three minutes of the quarter, and Calloway hit a long jumper just before the buzzer for an 80-52 lead at the end of three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Unicaja hits a century mark
Things slowed down in the fourth quarter. The hosts extended the margin to 30 on a layup from Vazquez, but did not stop there. Vazquez followed it with a tip-in, before Dragicevic hit another basket. A layup from Stimac, and a tip-in by Kuzminskas extended the lead even more. Kamil Chanas hit a triple for the visitors, but more baskets from Kuzminskas helped make it 96-61, the biggest lead of the night. Zamojski scored 5 more points for Zielona Gora, including a shot from behind the arc, but the hosts did not stop running, hitting the century mark on a fastbreak layup by Vidal in the final seconds. Chanas rounded out the scoring with a layup, as the hosts celebrated big victory.
Friday, October 25, 2013