Khimki Moscow Region edged ratiopharm Ulm 85-84 on Wednesday to move within a victory of a spot in the quarterfinals. Khimki improved to 3-1 and sits second in Group F, while Ulm remained winless through four Top 16 games.
Alexey Shved led the winners with 32 points on 8-of-13 three-point shooting and 8 assists. Nobel Boungou-Colo added 16 points and Viacheslav Zaytsev had 10 points and 3 steals for Khimki, which never trailed after the opening minutes. Khimki collected 11 steals and forced 19 turnovers, which were keys to the outcome. Augustine Rubit posted 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, Raymar Morgan scored 16, Taylor Braun 14 and Chris Babb 11. Khimki led by 14 in the fourth quarter before the visitors went on a 0-13 run, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Khimki jumped out to a strong start, as three-pointers by Zaytsev, Boungou-Colo, Shved and Sergey Monya gave the hosts a 13-4 lead midway through the first quarter. Da'Sean Butler and Chris Babb tried to change things for Ulm, but Zaytsev dunked and Boungou-Colo followed a dunk with free throws to keep Khimki comfortably ahead, 20-9, after 10 minutes. David Kraemer and Stanislav Ilnitskiy exchanged driving baskets early in the second quarter and a three-pointer by Egor Viatlsev gave Khimki a 25-11 margin. Braun joined the three-point shootout and Morgan followed with a layup-plus-foul to bring Ulm a bit closer, 28-21. Jacob Pullen hit a three in a 7-0 run to keep Khimki firmly in control, but three-point plays by Rubit and Morgan and a pair of baskets by Jonas Wohlfarth featured in a 2-10 run to get within 39-33 at halftime. Ulm continued the third quarter where it left off by scoring the first 5 points and getting within 1 on a Braydon Hobbs three-pointer. Ulm twice more came within 1, but Khimki always had an answer. Shved came alive with 7 points in an 11-3 Khimki run to restore a double-digit advantage, 59-49. Ulm halved the deficit only to see Shved strike twice more from behind the arc. A Robbie Hummel three to end the third quarter gave the hosts a 70-58 cushion. Butler opened the fourth quarter with a three and Ulm got within 8, however Pullen and Boungou-Colo each hit threes as the margin grew to 78-64. However Ulm reeled off 13 unanswered points through five different scorers to get within 1 and reawaken the game. Shved came to Khimki’s rescue with his eighth three and his 30th points to make it 81-77. He added free throws to give the hosts breathing room and they would need it as Babb’s three in the closing seconds made it a 1-point game, but Ulm ran out of time.