Enisey Russia defeated VEF Latvia at home, 75-67 (12-23, 23-13, 21-21, 19-10).
Enisey: John Roberson (22 + 7 ast), Alex Young (15 + 6 reb), Denis Zakharov (12), Martins Meiers (10 + 10 reb)
VEF: Arturs Ausejs (14), Mareks Mejeris (11 + 5 reb)
Enisey used a 12-0 run in the closing minutes to break open a tight game and record its 4th victory at VEF’s expense.
VEF entered the game with the League’s worst record (2-8), but drew first blood, racing to a 23-12 lead in the opening period. Arturs Ausejs, who finished with a team-best 14 points, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to pace the visiting Latvians, including this buzzer-beater.
Артурс Аусейс из @vefriga закрывает первую четверть баззером 👌
Arturs Ausejs beat the 🚨 from deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! pic.twitter.com/heD96u883k
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) December 16, 2018
Enisey, which began the 2nd quarter with a triple from Alex Young and three three-point plays, quickly erased the deficit.
Denis Zakharov pulled the home team to within one, 36-35, on a layup to end the first half. VEF was held to 13 points in the period,
The second half was ferociously competitive, with neither team conceding an inch. There were nine lead changes between the 3rd quarter and first six minutes of the 4th and everyone expected a nail-biting finish.
But Enisey wanted no drama in this one. After Andrew Andrews gave the visitors a 65-63 lead with four minutes remaining, Krasnoyarsk ripped off a game-winning 12-0 run.
VEF certainly had chances, but a string of six consecutive missed 3-pointers doomed the Latvians.
Enisey grabs the win and improves to 4-7, only a half game behind Kalev for the final playoff spot. VEF falls to 2-9.
36% – Enisey limited VEF to 36% shooting, including 6-27 from beyond the arc.
Enisey head coach Oleg Okulov: “The game did not promise to be easy from the start, because VEF is not a team that ever plays at half strength. This team can defeat any opponent. They come from a good school of basketball and they have experienced players who have been tested on the Latvian national team. At the beginning of the game, we missed too many shots and let VEF take a 10-point lead, which we then had to make up the rest of the game. It’s nice we could dig in on defense and pull out the win.”
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis: “Games in Krasnoyarsk are always difficult from a physical standpoint. We did not play very well in the second half. We played slow and made bad decisions. We lacked discipline and didn’t find a leader who could take responsibility in the clutch. And, of course, Martins Meiers was excellent today for the opposition.”