CSKA Moscow defeated Avtodor Saratov at home, 93-66 (25-13, 20-25, 27-15, 21-13).
CSKA: Nando De Colo (19 + 5 ast), Kyle Hines (16 + 7 reb), Nikita Kurbanov (11 + 3 stl)
Avtodor: Micah Downs (17), Justin Robinson (15), Branden Frazier (11), Artem Zabelin (10 + 7 reb)
Avtodor picked up a pair of nice wins entering Sunday’s game in Moscow, defeating Leuwen Bears in the EuroCup and running past Enisey in a VTB United League encounter.
CSKA, on the other hand, suffered a setback in Madrid on Thursday night, falling by double digits to Real in the EuroLeague.
Early on, it looked like CSKA might put the game out of reach in the 1st quarter. The Army Men scored the first 12 points and led 18-5 with 3:19 to play in the opening period.
After starting 2-10 from the field to go with five turnovers, the visitors started to heat up.
Justin Robinson led the way with three triples early in the 2nd quarter, keeping Saratov within striking distance, 34-23.
Avtodor kept scoring, cutting the deficit to six, 40-34, on an Ian Hummer lay-up late in the quarter. With seconds remaining before halftime, Micah Downs sank a pair of free throws to make it a five-point game, 43-38, but Kyle Hines gave CSKA a bit of momentum entering the locker room with this alley-oop at the buzzer.
It was Nando De Colo’s turn to shine in the 3rd quarter. The French guard finished with a game-high 19 and he was the key to CSKA regaining control and ultimately cruising to an easy win.
De Colo opened the second half with seven points and two assists in the first five-plus minutes to give CSKA a 58-45 lead. After he picked up a couple fouls and took a seat on the bench, his replacement Mikhail Kulagin finished what he had started, scoring on a layup and a 3-pointer to end the quarter and put CSKA on top by 19, 72-53.
The Army Men went on to win comfortably, 93-66, becoming the first team to four wins. Avtodor drops to 1-3.
+24 – CSKA outscored Avtodor by 24 in the paint, showing an ability to drive the lane and feed the big men inside. The Army Men also outrebounded Saratov by 13.
CSKA head coach Dimitris ITOUDIS:
– Congratulations to the players on the win. We dictated the tempo thanks to smooth defense and effort on our end of the floor. Our only problem was all the turnovers in the 2nd quarter, which allowed our opponent to push the pace. Saratov didn’t score more than 15 points in the other quarters. Our approach to the game was completely different. You might say we bounced back from the loss in Madrid. Our main goal right now is to get better and better with every practice.
Avtodor head coach Andrea MAZZON:
– It’s always nice to travel to Moscow. This is a great city. I’ve been here many times as a coach in the EuroLeague. Of course, we had good moments in the game. But CSKA started to overpower us physically in the 3rd quarter. They were aggressive. We have a young team and they make mistakes characteristic of newcomers. But we tried nonetheless. There are a lot of positives to take from playing against one of the top teams in Europe. You could say we played well for 18-20 of the 40 minutes.
CSKA: October 30 home vs. VEF
Avtodor: October 28 home vs. Kalev