Unicaja registered its first win in Group C when it downed visiting Ulker 70-57 in Malaga, Spain on Wednesday night. Unicaja improved to 1-1 in the Group C standings, while Ulker dropped to 0-2. Jorge Garbajosa led the winners with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Daniel Santiago added 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting and 9 rebounds. Stephane Risacher scored 13 points and Marcus Brown 11 for Unicaja. Mirsad Turkcan posted a double-double for Ulker with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Trepagnier also had 13 and Marcus Haislip 10. Garbajosa and Santiago combined for 18 points in the opening quarter to give Unicaja a 25-13 lead, but Ulker managed to cut its deficit to 40-33 at halftime and even got a 43-44 edge midway through the third quarter. Once again Garbajosa came to the rescue with consecutive three-pointers that put Unicaja up 55-51 lead after 30 minutes. The hosts' defense did the rest. Ulker went scoreless for more than 8 minutes in the fourth quarter, while Brown had 7 points in a 15-0 run that made Unicaja cruise to a big win.
Trepganier opened fire with a five-meter jumper on Ulker's first possession, while Turkcan fired in consecutive three-pointers to give the guests a 3-8 lead. Risacher took Kutluay one-one-one for a layup, but Ulker kept its good shot selection, as Haislip made a four-meter jumper for a 5-9 lead. It didn't last long, as Santiago scored inside while Garbajosa fed Risacher for a three-pointer and then slashed for a left-handed layup to put Unicaja ahead, 12-9. Ulker kept scoring fluently, but Garbajosa had taken over, firing in his second triple and feeding Santiago for a reverse dunk. The hosts' defense improved now, while a dominant Santiago scored 3 more baskets to force an Ulker timeout at 23-13. That didn't slow Unicaja, as Florent Pietrus registered consecutive blocks on Omer Onan and Trepagnier, while Brown's floating layup gave the hosts a 25-13 lead after 10 minutes.
Ulker came back ready as Cuneyt Erden beat the defense for a layup and Omer Onan added a put-back, cutting the difference to 25-17. Unicaja went scoreless in the opening 3 minutes of the second quarter, while Onan made free throws and Erden nailed a three off the dribble to bring Ulker even closer, 25-22. Ulker switched to 2-3 zone defense, but Garbajosa immediately punished it with a three-pointer. Turkcan hustled in the paint to make a tough basket, but Risacher simply took over with consecutive triples for a 34-24 Unicaja margin. Kutluay answered from downtown, but Ulker had troubles on defense as Carlos Cabezas scored inside and Santiago made a jumper in the paint to keep Unicaja ahead, 38-29. Haislip followed with a tough layup and a high-flying put-back dunk to bring the guests within 40-33 at halftime.
Garbajosa shined early in the third quarter with a fastbreak layup and a big block, but Trepagnier followed a driving layup with a three from the top of the key to keep Ulker within 43-38. Unicaja struggled to score now, while Turkcan did so both in the paint and on a short jumper. Vrbica Stefanov capped a 1-11 run which a driving layup to put Ulker in the lead, finally, at 43-44. Unicaja called timeout to organize its defense, but the hosts continued struggling to score due to turnovers. But at the same time, Ulker went scoreless for 3 minutes, long enough for Unicaja to find a go-to guy in Garbajosa, who stroked a pair of triples to seize a 53-46 lead for Unicaja. After a timeout, Erden and Trepagnier tried to rescue Ulker with a stop-and-pop triple and acrobatic reverse layup, respectively, keeping the guests as close as 55-51 after 30 minutes.
Trepagnier opened the fourth quarter with yet another reverse layup, but Santiago answered with a turnaround jumper. Unicaja's excellent man-to-man took over now, forcing Ulker into many off-balanced shots as free throws by Cabezas and Santiago gave Unicaja a 59-53 edge. Brown beat the shot clock buzzer with a five-meter jumper, forcing an Ulker timeout at 61-53. The guests had only 2 points so far in the quarter. When Brown made another jumper from the same spot as before and Pepe Sanchez drove for a basket, Unicaja had a 65-53 lead with under 4 minutes remaining. Ulker would end up going scoreless for more than 8 minutes, while Brown made a three and Berni Rodriguez a fastbreak layup to cap a game-breaking 15-0 run that decided which team would earn a Group C victory at the finish.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005