Khimki captures Top 16 berth by beating ALBA
Khimki Moscow Region used a 14-0 fourth-quarter run to come from behind and beat ALBA Berlin 88-77 on Wednesday at the Basketball Center of Moscow Region.
The win lifted Khimki’s record to 5-2 for first place in Group B and secured its spot in the Top 16. Markel Brown, who hit a pair of threes in the decisive run, led Khimki with 19 points and Nobel Boungou-Colo shined with 18 points and 5 steals. Jacob Pullen added 13 points and Stanislav Ilnitskiy posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for the winners, who outrebounded ALBA 34-16, including 15-3 on the offensive glass. Elmeden Kikanovic paced ALBA with 22 points, Dominique Johnson tallied 18 points, 5 assists and 4 steals and Dragan Milosavljevic posted 12 points and 7 assists. ALBA fell to 3-4 with the loss.
Making his first EuroCup start, Malcolm Miller’s put-back started the scoring, but Khimki responded with a 9-0 run in which four different players scored. ALBA narrowed the gap to 18-15 on an Akeem Vargas triple. ALBA reeled off 7 straight points to establish a double-digit advantage before Ismet Akpinar’s score made it 25-19 after 10 minutes. ALBA closed the gap in the second quarter before Milosavljevic’s steal led to an unsportsmanlike foul, 2 made free throws and a go-ahead triple by miller for a 32-35 ALBA advantage. There would be six more lead changes until the end of the first half, at which point the game was tied 44-44. Johnson capped a 0-7 ALBA run that gave the visitors a 52-59 edge midway through the third quarter, but Boungou-Colo scored 5 in a 7-0 Khimki response to tie things. Boungou-Colo split free throws to put the home team up 64-63 at the end of the third quarter. Johnson’s third triple of the night gave ALBA a 71-73 edge, but that would prove to be its final lead. Brown connected on a pair of triples in a game-breaking 14-0 run and held on the rest of the way.