Unics Kazan established itself as the Group I favorite after routing Cedevita Zagreb 76-94 on Tuesday at the Drazen Petrovic Basketball Center in the Croatian capital.
Kelly McCarty scored 22 points and Terrell Lyday added 20 points and 6 assists as Kazan improved to 2-0. With Cedevita’s big man Corsley Edwards sidelined due to illness, the visitors dominated the glass and outrebounded the hosts 26-40. But that wasn’t the only key: Unics made 9 of 14 triples (64.3%). The game was close for the first half, but Unics took control with a 0-13 third-quarter run. Maciej Lampe added 17 points and 8 rebounds and Hasan Rizvic posted 15 and 8 for Kazan, which picked up its fifth straight Eurocup win. Unica visits Hemofarm Stada next week. Dontaye Draper paced Cedevita with 16 points and 6 assists, Vedran Vukusic added 13, Vedran Princ 12 and Trent Plaisted 11. Franko Kastropil posted 8 points and 9 rebounds in minutes vacated by Edwards. Cedevita hosts Gran Canaria 2014 next.
Unica threatened to pull away early as baskets by Ricky Minard, Lyday and Vladimir Veremeenko put the visitors up 0-6. Plaisted finally got Cedevita in motion, but Kazan continued to romp and went up 6-13 on a Lyday triple. However Draper responded with a three and Vukusic added a basket-plu-foul to quickly cut the gap to 1 midway through the opening quarter. A Draper layup gave Cedevita its first lead at 18-17, however a Rizvic slam and McCarty triple put Unica back in the driver’s seat. Vukusic connected from downtown, but Lyday free throws made it 23-26 after 10 minutes. Another three from McCarty followed by Slavko Vranes’s first basket had the visitors ahead by 6. And when Lampe stepped up with a pair of scores, it was 27-36 midway through the second quarter. Cedevita did not break, though, and back-to-back threes from Princ and Vukusic carried the hosts within a basket. Princ added another triple and Plaisted made it a 1-point game before Veremeenko free throws ended the half at 38-41.
Plaisted used some nice moves to show Cedevita had fight left in it as the second half began. Minard started to heat up for the visitors and Lyday drilled a three that was a sign of things to come. Bracey Wright and Damjan Rudez kept the hosts in the picture, but not for long. Back-to-back scores from Minard – a basket, foul drawn, missed free throw, offensive rebound and second basket – ignited a 0-13 run that McCarty capped with back-to-back threes to put Kazan up 47-67. Lampe took the scoring reins after that to put Unica up 57-76 at the end of the third quarter. Princ opened the fourth quarter with a strike from downtown and Kastropil corrected a Draper miss, but baskets from Rizvic and McCarty showed Kazan had not let its guard down. Threes from Lyday and Zakhar Pashutin took the Kazan lead to 24 as the visitors walked away with a big road win.