Unics stayed in the race to reach the Eurocup Quarterfinals in Last 16 Group I by edging Galatasaray Cafe Crown 92-89 in Kazan, Russia on Tuesday. Unics improved to 3-2 and keeps all chances to reach the Quarterfinals, but it must steal a road win in Valencia next week to advance to the next round. Galatasaray dropped to 0-5 but was already mathematically out of chances to reach the Quarterfinals. Marko Popovic led the winners with 22 points and 5 assists. Maciej Lampe posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Kresimir Loncar added 16 points on 8-of-11 two-pointers, Terrell Lyday got 13, Igor Zamanskiy had 11 while Vladimir Vereemenko contributed 10 for Unics. Darius Washington led Galatasaray with 32 points on 9-of-12 two-pointers, 3-of-3 triples and 7 assists. Rado Rancik added 15 points, Simas Jasaitis had 13 while Mike Wilkinson got 11 for the guests. Veremeenko had all of his points in the first quarter for a 23-20 lead after 10 minutes. A layup by Loncar gave Unics its biggest lead, 38-28, but an outstanding Washington singlehandedly brought Galatasaray back to life. Back-to-back triples by Popovic and a key basket by Lyday put Unics ahead for good, 89-86, with 12 seconds left. Washington kept trying but Unics had already cruised to a critical home win.
Jasaitis needed just 4 seconds to struck from downtown, igniting a 0-7 run that Wilkinson capped with a running jumper. Unics
called timeout and Veremeenko stepped up consecutive layups. A three-pointer by Zamanskiy got the hosts within 7-9. Washington took over with a big triple and soon added a fast break layup for a 9-14 Galatasaray lead. Lyday scored in penetration and Lampe added free throws but a three-pointer by Murat Kaya kept the guests ahead, 13-17. Veremeenko had 4 points in a 6-0 run that gave Unics its first lead, 19-17. A put-back basket by Veremeenko and a power layup by Zamanskiy allowed Unics to extend its margin to 23-20 after 10 minutes. Zamanskiy and Washington traded baskets early in the second quarter but Popovic buried a corner triple for a 28-22 score. Washington quickly answered from downtown but Lyday followed a jumper with a backdoor layup to make it a seven-point game, 32-25. Wilkinson buried a triple off a Galatasaray timeout but a jumper by Lampe and back-to-back layups by Loncar gave Unics its first double-digit lead, 38-28. Unics kept finding easy points in transition but Jasaitis and an unstoppable Washington kept the guests within 44-38. A free throw by Wilkinson and a jumper by Washington got Galatasaray even closer, 46-41, at halftime.
Once again Jasaitis started the third quarter with a three-pointer but Popovic shined with a layup-plus-foul and fed Zamanskiy for an easy basket. Washington took over with a wild three-point play and fed Rancik for a layup that put Galatasaray back ahead, 51-52. Lyday and Wilkinson traded baskets and Washington scored off a midcourt steal for a 53-56 score. Lampe sank a jumper, as the game turned into a three-point shootout with Fikret Can Akin, Lyday, Jasaitis and Popovic striking from downtown. Rancik and Kaya sank free throws but a three-point play by Lampe tied it at 66-66. Eren Beyaz buried a triple to fix the score at 66-69 after 30 minutes. Kaya scored in transition early in the fourth quarter and Washington followed a six-meter jumper with a fast break layup but Loncar singlehandedly kept Unics within 76-77. Lampe stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and Popovic struck twice from downtown for a 85-78 Unics lead with over 2 minutes left. Galatasaray was not done, however, as Wilkinson scored down low while Rancik followed a layup with a triple for a 87-85 deficit. Can Akin split free throws and a put-back basket by Lyday made the guests call timeout, 89-86, with 12 seconds left. Washington and Popovic traded foul shots and Unics chose to foul on Washington to avoid a three-point shot. He missed his second attempt on purpose but Lampe grabbed the defensive board, drew a foul and sealed the outcome from the free throw line.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010