Unics Kazan topping Dexia Mons Hainaut 89-71
Unics Kazan got its first win in Group D by topping Dexia Mons Hainaut 89-71 at home in Russia on Tuesday. A 16-2 run led by Saulius Stombergas late in the first quarter opened the road to victory for Unics. The Belgian visitors tried to recover, but never got closer than 5 points the rest of the way. Ksystof Lavirnovic led Unics with 22 points, 12 of those to put the game away in the third quarter, while hitting 6 of 6 two-point shot. Jarrod Stevenson added 16 points, Igor Mescheryakov and Stombergas 13 each, and Sergei Chikalkin 10. George Evans was the main contributor for Mons with 18 points. Kevin Houston added 17 points, hitting a perfect 4 of 4 from beyond the arc, while Jim Potter posted 12 and Yemi Nicholson 11 to go with 9 rebounds.
Mescheryakov opened the scoring from the foul line for Unics but Houston answered from downtown to put the visitors ahead. The teams exchanged baskets until the score was 7-7 midway through the quarter, when Mateen Cleaves exploded from long distance and Lavrinovic dunked to make it 12-9. Nicholson took over for Mons with 8 points in a row to get his team within 14-13, but back-to-back bombs from Stombergas boosted the hosts before Mescheryakov's three-point-play capped a 10-0 run to the first double-digit margin of the night, 24-13. Potter's free throws ended the Mons drought, but Unics answered with 2 more three-pointers in a row, from Stevenson and Saulius Stombergas, for a 30-15 cushion at the end of the first quarter. Mons came back for the second quarter with a different attitude, as Houston scored half the points in a 0-10 run to cut the difference to 30-25. Unics needed more than 4 minutes to get back on track with Chikalkin scoring from downtown and, a couple minutes later, pushing the lead to double digits again, 35-25. Mons didn't give up as Evans scored twice in the paint to make it 35-29 and force Unics coach Antanas Sireika to call timeout. Chikalkin scored his seventh consecutive point, but a basket from beyond the arc by Potter put the Belgians close as ever at 37-32. However, Stevenson let loose with back-to-back triples in the last minute as Unics rolled ahead again, 45-37 at halftime.
Mescheryakov opened the second half with a triple to push Unics ahead 48-37, while Mons stayed within 50-45 on a four-point-play converted by Houston. The game remained balanced with the teams exchanging baskets. Potter hit a triple that Lavirnovic erased with a layup-plus-free throw that made it 55-46 midway through the quarter. Lavrinovic and Evans found easy points in the open court as the margin continued flirting with double figures. Lavrinovic finished his show, however, by scoring 6 of his team's last 8 points in the quarter as Unics extended the lead to 69-53. Potter sounded the charge for Mons from downtown in the last quarter, but was it impossible to stop the Lavrinovic brothers. This time it was Darijus, who slammed to turn back another Mons comeback try. Evans launched another attempt, but Chikalkin hit a triple to make it 74-58, and Ksystof Lavrinovic sealed the win with another dunk and the additional free throw, leaving a 77-60 scoreboard 5 minutes remaining. The teams exchnaged baskets in the final minutes, and Unics got a well-deserved win.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006