Khimki routs Cantu to stay perfect at home
BC Khimki Moscow Region is on the verge of qualifying to the Top 16 after a comfortable 77-53 win over Mapooro Cantu. With this victory, Khimki moved into second place in Group A with a 5-3 record and needs one win or a Union Olimpija loss to secure a place in the next round. Cantu dropped to 2-6 with two games left to play. A great defensive effort helped Khimki to a big second quarter run and a commanding double-digit advantage before triples from Sergey Monya and Vitaly Fridzon extended the lead to 20 points after halftime. Zoran Planinic led the victors with 14 points plus 6 assists, while Paul Davis also scored 14. Fridzon and Monya each finished with 11 points; Fridzon also dished 7 assists. Manu Markoishvili scored game-high 16 points for Cantu, Maarty Leunen had 11, and Jeff Brooks chipped in with 10 points in defeat.
First quarter: Markoishvili scores 12 as Cantu takes slim lead
Both teams found their offensive rhythm early. Leunen opened the game with a top of the key three-pointer, before Kresimir Loncar and Planinic scored inside for Khimki and James Augustine's put-back-plus-foul made it 7-3. Cantu responded through Markoishvili who scored a runner and connected on two triples to give Cantu an 11-13 advantage. Khimki quickly regained the lead with back-to-back triples from K.C. Rivers and Sergey Monya, making it 19-15. Davis and Fridzon kept the hosts in front from close range, but Markoishivili and Leunen hit jumpers before Alex Tyus dunked at the end of the first quarter to give Cantu a 23-24 advantage.
Second quarter: Hosts take control with a 19-5 run
Khimki opened the second quarter with 7 unanswered points, as Davis scored twice and Monya sank a triple from the left corner. Jeff Brooks snapped the run with couple of baskets of his own, but Fridzon hit from downtown before Davis scored from close range and long range to open 39-28 advantage. Davis and Monya made the difference on the defensive end as well, denying a couple of shots as the hosts did not allow a field goal for more than four minutes. Cantu also struggled from the foul line, missing 6 of its first 8 attempts, while Egor Vyaltsev’s triple capped a 10-1 run and made it a 13-point game as Khimki held 44-31 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Khimki cruises
Markoishvili hit a jump shot to start the third quarter, but Monya and Fridzon hit triples to extend the lead to 52-33. Despite the big lead, Khimki was not letting down on defense, while slowing down the tempo on offense. Fridzon hit another three to extend the lead to 57-37 before Tyus and Awudu Abass scored inside on back-to-back trips down the floor. However, the visitors did not manage to come closer than 17 points as Dimitriy Khvostov hit a three-pointer and Davis beat the buzzer at the end of the quarter making it 62-43.
Fourth quarter: Lead peaks at 26 points
Davis extended the margin to 21 points with a pair of free throws at the start of fourth quarter before Brooks and Planinic traded baskets. Cantu’s attempt to cut into the lead with baskets from Brooks and Jonathan Tabu was denied by layups from Matt Nielsen. Vyaltsev sank a jumper and Monya made a dunk to make it 74-49. Vyaltsev added another triple to his tally extending the margin to 26 points before Leunen rounded out the scoring with the dunk to end the game.
Thursday, November 29, 2012