CSKA Moscow routs Limoges to complete perfect regular season
CSKA Moscow hit 14 three-pointers and never trailed in crushing visiting Limoges CSP 88-56 in the Round 10 opener in the Russian capital on Thursday. CSKA finished the regular season as the competition’s lone unbeaten team; its 10-0 record takes it into Top 16 Group F, while Limoges finishes its Euroleague campaign with a 2-8 record, and will continue its season in the Eurocup Last 32. CSKA, playing without Sonny Weems and Milos Teodosic, started making its charge with a 10-2 run in the first quarter behind Vitaly Fridzon. Andrey Vorontsevich fueled a 16-4 second-quarter spurt for a 45-27 halftime lead, and the hosts never looked back after the break. Fridzon finished with 19 points, Vorontsevich collected 12 points and 7 rebounds, while Demetris Nichols and Manuchar Markoishvili scored 10 apiece. Jamar Smith scored 12 for Limoges, and Ramel Curry had 11 in the losing effort.
First quarter: Triples from Fridzon give CSKA early cushion
Fridzon and Nando De Colo opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers. Frejus Zerbo opened the visitors' account from the free throw line, before Sasha Kaun scored inside for an 8-2 advantage. But Leo Westermann hit a jumper, Nobel Boungou-Colo made a put-back, and Jamar Smith had a steal that led to an easy fastbreak dunk to tie the game at 8-8. After a Fridzon jumper, Westermann made a floater and Smith added a jumper to even the score at 12-12, but that's when CSKA started pulling away. Fridzon knocked down a corner triple in transition before Aaron Jackson made a steal and raced for a fastbreak bucket. Fridzon's third three in as many attempts made it 22-14. After J.P. Batista and Kyle Hines traded baskets inside, Markoishvili drove for a layup-plus-foul, and Jackson finished the quarter with a jumper for a 29-17 lead.
Second quarter: The hosts pull away behind Vorontsevich
Steed Tchicamboud scored a runner and a layup on a fastbreak, and James Southerland hit a baseline jumper as Limoges cut the deficit to 29-23. The visitors had success with their zone defense, and CSKA was scoreless for more than four minutes to start the quarter, before Fridzon split free throws and Hines finished a breakaway with a dunk. Jackson added a triple to the run, pushing the lead back into double figures, 35-23. Curry and Andrey Vorontsevich traded close range baskets. After a jumper from Vorontsevich, Trent Plaisted had a layup in a crowd for Limoges, but back-to-back threes from Markoishvili and Vorontsevich extended the margin to 45-27 at halftime.
Third quarter: CSKA cruises towards victory
Markoishvili nailed a baseline jumper, and after Adrien Moerman and Vorontsevich traded fastbreak dunks, Smith hit from long range and Zerbo scored from close range to make it 49-34. Vorontsevich remained hot, hitting a three-pointer, before both teams went on a two-minute scoring stoppage. Hines ended it with a layup, and after a jumper from Smith, a pair of layups from Markoishvili made it 58-36. Smith knocked down another three for Limoges, but Fridzon had a put-back to keep the margin above 20 points. Demetris Nichols sank a long jumper for the hosts, but Tchicamboud made 4 free throws for a 62-43 advantage.
Fourth quarter: A 17-0 run makes it a 35-point game
Kaun scored twice from close range, including a dunk that made it 66-43. Curry buried a triple, and Ousmane Camara had a fastbreak slam for Limoges, but the hosts did not allow another basket for almost six minutes. During that span Fridzon and Ivan Strebkov hit back-to-back shots from long range and Fridzon threw an alley-oop pass for an Anton Astapkovich dunk. Astapkovich also hit a three-pointer from the right corner, followed by long-range shots from Strebkov and Nichols for an 83-48 lead, the biggest of the night. Curry snapped the visitors’ drought with a three-pointer, but Nichols answered with another one from long range. Camara scored inside for Limoges, and after Nichols drove the baseline for a huge slam in the final seconds for CSKA, Curry rounded out the scoring with a three for Limoges.