Unics beat Galatasaray Medical Park 64-68
The Group D showdown between two Turkish Airlines Euroleague newcomers on Thursday was solved in favor of Unics Kazan, who beat Galatasaray Medical Park on the road by 64-68 after trailing for almost 38 minutes. Galatasaray dominated the score thanks to Darius Songaila first and Josh Shipp later. Unics was struggling but when Aleksey Savrasenko and Lynn Greer were together on court, things started ticking. It wasn't until the last quarter when Henry Domercant also woke up and Unics got closer. Two straight threes by Mike Wilkinson and Terrell Lyday with 2:20 to go put theguests ahead for the first time and for good. Galatasaray had a backcourt violation in the next play but it wasn't until Domercant hit a huge three to beat the shot clock in the last seconds of the game that Unics could celebrate. This was the Russian team's first Euroleague win ever and now evens its record to 1-1 after the initial loss. Galatasaray also drops to 1-1. Domercant led the winners with 16 points and Greer added 12. Savrasenko was also crutial with his 9 points and 7 boards in 24 minutes. For the hosts, Luksa Andric had 14 points Shipp added 11 and Songaila 10. With Unics pulling as many as 17 offensive boards and Galatasaray turning the ball over 17 times, the stage was set for the guests to finall ypull the win in the end.
Both teams needed a while to settle down on court with the two sides missing some open shots. It was Darius Songaila who opened fire with a long jumper two
minutes after tip-off. Henry Domercant replied with a beautiful fadeaway shot but the Galatasaray defense kept Unics dry for a little while and a three by
Josh Shipp and another Songaila bucket made it 7-2 for the hosts. Unics reacted with a Mike Wilkinson three but Songaila was on fire in offense, and the
Galatasaray defense forced the Unics mistakes until Songaila pulled an offensive board to make it 15-7. Shipp joined in on the fun in offense for the hosts
with four straight points as Domercant tried to revive his team but only succeeded partially and Shipp made it an 11-point game for 21-10. Lynn Greer had the
last word in the period with two free throws that made it 21-12 after 10 minutes.
The second quarter started on a different style. The Unics' defense regrouped with Aleksey Savrasenko and Vladimir Veremeenko inside and a 0-5 run capped by
Zakhar Pashutin's steal and layup forced a Galatasaray timeout. Cevher Ozer calmed things down for the hosts from the arc as Unics started struggling again
in offense. With some unforced turnovers, Galatasaray managed to keep opening the gap again despite Pashutin's new basket, 26-21. Two straight threes from
Jaka Lakovic and Preston Shumpert allowed the hosts to climb back to a 32-23 edge. Despite leading the turnovers race at 8-5 due to is aggressiveness in
offense, Galatasaray was keeping the upper hand because Unics was still missing some open shots. Savrasenko found the rim from the paint a couple of times
and the last three points of the quarter fell on Unics' side from the charity line as Veremeenko put the 35-28 at the break.
The second half started well for Unics. The combination in offense between Savrasenko and Greer allowed the latter for four straight points that made it
quickly a 37-32 deal for Galatasaray. But when Unics had the chance to cut the lead even further, a couple fast plays by Galatasaray in offense by Acik and
Shipp killed all momentum to force a new timeout of the guests. Despite everything, Unics persevered with patience and was active on the offensive rebounds. Andric kept Galatasaray alive but little by little, the guests were back thanks again to the duo formed by Savrasenko and Greer, the latter hitting five straight points including a three for 46-44 closing a 1-9 run. Ender Arslan killed the scoring run with free throws and then a buzzer beater that allowed Galatasaray to reach the end of three with a 50-45 lead.
The decisive period started with Unics surviving off Nathan Jawai's free throws, but Shipp and Jamont Lucas kept Galatasaray at a reasonably safe distance, 54-50. Preston Shumpert scored for the hosts as the clock ticked away. Unics was desperately looking for Domercant, but he was well-guarded until he hit a three for 58-53. Savrasenko fouled out midway through the period, conditioning Unics' inside play and Andric kept burying free throws for 60-53. Domercant copied him to make it 60-57 and Lucas did the same with the teams trading free throws. The big blow of Unics arrived in the shape of two back-to-back threes by Wilkinson and Terrell Lyday for a 0-6 burst that put the guests ahead for the first time in the game with a little more than two minutes to go, 62-63. A backcourt violation of Galatasaray only allowed Unics to pull away a little more with Domercant free throws. Entering the last minute, both teams missed their shots and Lakovic went to the free throw line scoring both attempts, 64-65 and 34 seconds to go. After timeout, Unics waited and waited as Greer and Domercant exchanged the ball. With one second on the shot clock, Domercant pulled up for a huge three that made it 64-68 that shut the stands and sealed the first Turkish Airlines Euroleague win ever for Unics Kazan.
Thursday, October 27, 2011