2020-21Regular SeasonRound 23
January 28, 2021 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Milan fights back for sixth straight win

AX Armani Exchange Milan came from behind to make it six wins in a row with an 82-76 victory over Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday night. Balanced and consistent offense allowed Zenit to take a 35-44 halftime lead, but Milan gradually came back into the game after the break and finished stronger to edge over the winning line. Kevin Punter led five Milan scorers in double figures with 14 points, followed by Sergio Rodriguez with 13. Malcolm Delaney and Kyle Hines each netted 12 points and Vladimir Micov added 10. Kevin Pangos and Austin Hollins scored 12 for Zenit, with KC Rivers netting all 11 of his points in the first half. The victory took Milan into third place at 15-7, while Zenit dropped to 13-8.

Zach LeDay and Rivers traded early inside blows, and it stayed closely fought with defenses on top. Hollins scored in transition and Will Thomas hit a hook shot to make it 6-9 midway through the first quarter. Pangos added a triple to complete a 0-8 run before Shavon Shields answered from beyond the arc. Vitaly Fridzon, Billy Baron and Mateusz Ponitka all struck inside to keep Zenit moving, 11-18. Thomas added a three-point play before Rodriguez and Fridzon hit triples to finish the first quarter, 16-24. Milan opened the second with threes from Rodriguez and Punter, but Ponitka hit an off-balance jumper and Baron struck from deep. Pangos added another triple for a double-digit lead, 22-32, but Delaney hit back with his own three. Rivers then caught fire with a trio of three-pointers, making it 29-41. Hines rescued Milan with a mid-range jumper before Shields hit from deep. Pangos accelerated to the basket for a layup and a 35-44 advantage at the half.

The defenses dominated the early exchanges of the second half with only 4 points in the first 3 minutes. Then Arturas Gudaitis dunked to restore a double-digit lead before Hines rose for a putback slam-and-one and Delaney added a jumper, 42-48. Gudaitis scored inside again and Ponitka penetrated to score at the hoop. Rodriguez nailed a triple before a series of free throws in the face of physical defense from both teams made it 56-59 at the end of the third. Fridzon ended a run of 5 minutes without a field goal by sinking a jumper before a long two by Rodriguez was answered by Pangos with a layup. Micov followed a three-point play with a three-pointer to give Milan its first lead since the opening stages, 64-63. Hines found his way to the hoop to score, but Pangos banked in a mid-range shot for a 66-66 tie with 5 minutes left. Hines netted again, but Hollins struck from deep to edge Zenit ahead. Micov sent Milan back in front and Punter added a three, making it 75-71 with 2 minutes on the clock. Punter drove inside for a layup before Delaney sank a triple and that was enough to seal the win.

Hines stands strong for hosts

The best player in the game was Kyle Hines, who had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists for a PIR of 20 – his joint-highest yet in a Milan uniform. His strong display helped quiet former Milan man Arturas Gudaitis, who scored just 8 points in 33 minutes on the floor.

Free throws make a difference

Milan drew 23 fouls and had great success from the foul line, making 24 of its 26 free throw attempts. Zenit converted 15 of 18 from the line and those extra points made a big difference to the outcome.

Long-range shooting boosts Milan

The winning side was also more accurate from long-range, making 10 of 21 (47.6%) three-pointers as four different players scored multiple triples. Zenit, meanwhile, only made 9 of 24 (37.5%) from beyond the arc.

Next round

Zenit is back on the road next Friday evening to visit Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. Milan travels to LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne the same night.

Kevin Punter - AX Armani Exchange Milan - EB20
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: GARCIA, JUAN CARLOS; LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT; NEDOVIC, MILAN
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan16192126
Zenit St Petersburg24201517
End of Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan16355682
Zenit St Petersburg24445976
AX Armani Exchange Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 PUNTER, KEVIN 28:41 14 3/7 2/4 2/2 1 2 3 2   1     2 3 13
2 LEDAY, ZACH 18:58 6 1/4 0/1 4/4   3 3       1   1 3 8
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 18:37 10 2/3 1/2 3/3   3 3 2 1     1 4 3 12
9 MORASCHINI, RICCARDO 4:39           1 1 1   1       1 2
10 ROLL, MICHAEL 4:43 2 0/1   2/2   2 2             1 4
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 17:23 13 1/3 3/6 2/2       2       1 1 1 9
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB 15:56 2 1/3     1   1   1 1 1       2
20 CINCIARINI, ANDREA 0:05                         1   -1
23 DELANEY, MALCOLM 28:49 12 2/3 2/3 2/2       2 1 2     3 2 10
31 SHIELDS, SHAVON 19:14 9 0/1 2/4 3/4 1 2 3           1 3 10
42 HINES, KYLE 24:04 12 4/6   4/5 2 6 8 3   2     3 5 20
70 DATOME, LUIGI 18:51 2 0/1 0/1 2/2 1 3 4 2         1 1 6
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 82 14/32 10/21 24/26 8 24 32 14 3 7 2 2 17 23 99
        43.8% 47.6% 92.3%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 RIVERS, KC 27:29 11 1/2 3/7     2 2 2         2 1 9
3 ZAKHAROV, DENIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 PANGOS, KEVIN 28:56 12 3/5 2/5     1 1 5   2     4 2 9
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 11:05 9 2/2 1/2 2/2   1 1           2 1 8
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 21:41 12 2/2 2/5 2/2       2 2 2     4 1 8
10 THOMAS, WILL 26:13 8 2/4 0/1 4/5 1 4 5 2       1 4 3 9
12 BARON, BILLY 11:19 5 1/3 1/3     1 1 2         2 2 4
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON 6:28   0/1       1 1           1   -1
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 13:47 2 0/2   2/2   3 3 1       1 1 2 4
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 19:45 9 3/3 0/1 3/3   5 5 1   1     2 2 13
77 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS 33:17 8 3/6   2/4 1 4 5     1 2   1 3 11
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 76 17/30 9/24 15/18 3 22 25 15 2 7 2 2 23 17 74
        56.7% 37.5% 83.3%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI

Head Coaches

MESSINA, ETTORE
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"Everything started on defense. We were much more focused, the switches helped us. We did better on their shooters, and offensively we found some poise. We were too rushed in the first half, too many shots after one possession. They are a very good team, so it’s a huge win coming at the end of an exhausting month. I can’t wait to give a couple of days off to the players."
PASCUAL, XAVI
Zenit St Petersburg
"Congratulations to Milan for the win. It was a game both teams deserved to win. We did a great job, but unfortunately in the second half we didn’t score some open three-pointers. They played better defense in the second half, but we weren’t effective and that was crucial. In the last part of the game, Punter scored off a screen and Delaney an open shot, but we also had shots from Rivers, Baron, Pangos, Thomas that we didn’t score. We lost because we were not effective in the second half. Milan changed their defense especially in the last 6 minutes when Hines came back and they started to switch, which caused problems. But we could have done something more if we were more effective."

Players

PUNTER, KEVIN
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"[We showed] composure, we got some stops and made some buckets at the end. We built on some stops, that was extremely important for the win."
HINES, KYLE
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"It was a big win. We were sleepwalking in the first quarter, but we came out and made adjustments. We showed maturity. These types of wins matter the most when the season matters the most. All of us put in the work every day, we all have one goal and every day we say ‘Insieme’ because that means together, and we’re together right now."