Spartak St. Petersburg got the first win of the 10th anniversary Eurocup season by downing Cedevita Zagreb 73-56 at Yubileyni Sport Palace Tuesday in Group G. The guests from Croatia tried to escape early in the game with a 0-11 run for an early 9-point lead, but Spartak responded with a 19-5 charge - during which Patrick Beverley scored 17! - to even the score by halftime and put St. Petersburg ahead 37-31 early in the third quarter. Chris Warren scored a layup, but another deadly 11-0 Spartak run pushed Cedevita farther behind, 48-33, and allowed Spartak to pick up an important win. Beverley led the way for the winners with 21 points in an excellent shooting performance. Yotam Halperin added 12 points and Loukas Mavrokefalides 11. Warren and Chris Owens scored 11 apiece for Cedevita and Matjaz Smodis contributed 10.
Anatoly Kashirov opened the scoring of the 2011-2012 Eurocup season with a mid-range jumper, before Marko Car nailed 5 straight points to put the guests in front 2-5. Spartak continued struggling with its shooting and turning over balls and Warren with back-to-back layups capped an 11-0 run through the
midway point of the quarter to give Cedevita a 2-11 lead. Finally, after seven scoreless minutes, Yotam Halperin posted 4 consecutive free throws to go up 6-12, while Beverley nailed 2 more and
Vladimir Dragicevic completed an 8-0 surge for Spartak to get to 10-12 after 10 minutes. Back-to-back three-pointers scored by Smodis from the top of the key, helped lift the lead to 13-18 before Marino Bazdaric ran the court for two easy points. Victor Keyru and Warren exchanged triples, Vedran Vukusic made it 18-26 assisted by Vedran Princ. Beverley nailed back-to-back three pointers to bring Spartak Spartak within 24-27 and force the guests to call timeout. The ith three seconds remaining in the half, Beverley scored again from long distance to even things at 27-27.
Beverley remained unstoppable also coming back from the lockers and gave a 29-27 advantage to Spartak after 11 seconds. Smodis answered immediately, but a three-point-play completed by the red-hot Spartak guard, who had now scored 14 consecutive points without a missed shot, put the hosts
ahead 32-29. Smodis scored after a high-low play with Vukusic, but Beverley remained on fire with another basket and an additional free throw, then Mavrokefalides made the difference bigger by scoring in the paint, 37-31. Beverley also blocked a shot by Smodis, but Warren recovered the ball to score and fuel his side. Miha Zupan opened from mid range and Dragicevic capped 11 unanswered points for Spartak for a 48-33 advantage. Cedevita did not give up and tried to stay in the game, despite a three pointer by Keyru, with 4 free throws and a layup from Miro Bilan to finish 51-39 after three quarters. Zupan, from beyond the arc, and Kotishevskiy extended again the difference to 56-41 early in the
last quarter. A three-point-play by Owens gave life to Cedevita, but back-to-back baskets from Mavrokefalides seemed to close the contest at 60-44 with five minutes left. Halperin increased the
cushion to 64-46, but Vukusic cut it to 65-51. Then Beverley re-established a 67-51 margin with less than three minutes left. Cedevita tried the last attempt to comeback with quick shots, but the game was over, and Spartak became the first winner of the season.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011