Unics ended the 2010-11 Eurocup regular season in style and advanced to the Last 16 as the Group A champion by overwhelming Banvit BK 59-89 on the road on Tuesday. Unics finished Group A with a 5-1 record and will face Hemofarm Stada, Cedevita Zagreb and the Group A champion in the next round. Banvit was third in Group A at 2-4. Kelly McCarty led the winners with 17 points. Maciej Lampe added 15, Vladimir Veremeenko had 11 while Igor Zamanskiy got 10 for Unics. Mutlu Akpinar and Vladimir Golubovic each had 13 points for Banvit while Bora Hun Pacun added 12 for the hosts. A 0-16 run allowed Unics to break the game open, 25-52, midway through the second quarter. Nothing changed from that moment, as Unics managed to keep a double-digit lead all the way until the final buzzer.
McCarty and Graves traded jumpers in the early going, but Unics had started the game with outstanding defense. Meanwhile, Terrell Lyday and McCarty struck from downtown in a 0-8 run that gave the guests a 2-10 lead. Graves hit free throws and Akpinar added a triple but McCarty singlehandedly kept Unics way ahead, 7-14. Golubovic and Lampe traded baskets but Ricky Minard soon gave Unics a 9-18 lead. Back-to-back baskets by Golubovic and free throws by Izzet Turkyilmaz gave Banvit some hope at 17-22. Hasan Rizvic sank a closer jumper, Vladimir Veremeenko scored down low and McCarty gave Unics a 19-28 lead. A jumper by Graves fixed the score at 21-28 after 10 minutes. Lyday and McCarty shined with consecutive baskets to make it a double-digit game, 21-32, early in the second quarter. Turkyilmaz scored down low but Minard and Lampe kept the guests way ahead, 23-36. Bora Hun Pacun took over with a put-back layup but Zamanskiy, Zakhar Pashutin and Lampe each had 4 points in a 0-16 run that broke the game open, 25-52. Akipinar stepped up with 5 unanswered points and Ibrahim Yildirim added a triple to get Banvit within 33-52 at halftime.
Golubovic followed a jumper with a layup to get Banvit even closer, 37-52, right after the break. McCarty silenced the crowd with back-to-back baskets and Rizvic scored down low to keep Unics out of trouble, 39-58. Banvit needed to speed up the game tempo but kept missing shots. Akpinar downed a three-pointer but Veremeenko and Lampe dominated the baskets, allowing Unics to get a 21-point lead, 42-63. Pacun buried 6-of-6 free throws but only managed to bring Banvit within 48-67 after three quarters. Pacun sank a jumper early in the fourth period but Unics had found a new go-to guy in Zamanskiy, who had 6 quick points to seal the outcome, 51-75, with under 6 minutes left. Yildirim buried a triple but everything was said and done already. Unics confirmed its status as one of the top candidates to win the 2010-11 Eurocup. Meanwhile, Banvit had a bitter end to its first-ever Eurocup season.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010