Enisey and Nizhny Novgorod draw in EuroChallenge
No winner has been decided in the Russian derby in EuroChallenge Qualifying Round first game. Nizhny Novgorod and Enisey drew level in the exciting clash.
It was a seesaw action from start to finish. Nizhny Novgorod looked better in the opening quarter. Vukasin Aleksic (182-G-85, agency: Beo Basket) and Ivan Paunic (194-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) gave the hosts a 21:12 lead late in the period. But Dragan Labovic (207-C/F-87) and Marcus Williams (191-G-85, college: Connecticut) helped the Krasnoyarsk team narrow the deficit at just three points 20:23. Lonny Baxter (203-C-79, agency: Priority Sports, college: Maryland) opened the second period with four points in a row to put Enisey in charge. But the hosts quickly regained control. The teams exchanged the baskets before Ivanov capped the half with a three-pointer giving Nizhny Novgorod a 42:39 lead. Things hardly changed in the third quarter as the teams stayed very close. Nizhny Novgorod were able to enter the fourth quarter up by just one point 67:66. Vukasin Aleksic boosted the margin to 6 points midway through the final period. Ivan Paunic gave Nizhny Novgorod an 82:74 advantage with under four minutes to go. But Enisey managed to avoid the defeat. Marcus Williams and Lonny Baxter teamed up for 7 quick points as the visitors pulled in front 88:87. Ivanov and Vukasin Aleksic posted a 92:90 lead for the hosts but Marcus Williams crowned the game with two free throws and drew things level at 92.
Valentin Yurchik (207-F-87) nailed 22 points to pace Nizhny Novgorod. Ivan Paunic added 20 points and 7 rebounds for the hosts. Lonny Baxter answered with 24 points and 11 rebounds for Enisey. Dragan Labovic netted 18 points for the visitors.
Nizhny Novgorod: Valentin Yurchik 22, Ivan Paunic 20, Vukasin Aleksic 13, Vanja Plisnic (207-F/C-80, agency: Beo Basket) 13
Enisey: Lonny Baxter 24+11 boards, Dragan Labovic 18