Avtodor Excels In Minsk

Avtodor defeated Tsmoki-Minsk on the road, 106-83. Two key runs (at the end of the 1st quarter and beginning of the 4th) helped Saratov secure a big lead and cruise to victory.

After sliding to 8th in the standings, Avtodor hoped to pick up a win in Minsk and avoid further damaging its playoff hopes. Tsmoki, however, came out strong, keeping the score close for much of the opening period.

His team leading by two, 21-19, Jeremy Chappell helped Saratov finish the quarter on an 11-1 run. Avtodor's advantage grew to as much as 15 in the 2nd quarter, before Tsmoki's Anthony Hilliard and Justin Gray cut the deficit to six entering halftime, 52-46.

The Dragons never managed to surmount the early deficit. Saratov's unselfish play overpowered Hilliard and Gray, keeping the lead at 5-10 points for much of the 3rd quarter.

Up by 11 at the end of the 3rd quarter, Avtodor opened the final period on a 14-4 run, erasing any lingering doubt. The visitors went on to score over 100 points (thanks to a pair of free throws from Yuri Tribun) and improved to 12-8 on the season. 

Star Player
Paul Stoll. The American guard was terrific in the 3rd quarter, knocking down several big 3-pointers to keep the home team from threatening. He finished with 23 points (7-13 from downtown), three rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Stat of the Game
42 - the two teams combined for 42 turnovers (each with 21).

Avtodor head coach Vladimir Antsiferov:
- We played with a big rotation, which helped us stay fresh for all 40 minutes. I'm happy with how the team responded to the adjustments we made during the game. We adjusted the defense a little and started playing a little different on offense after Tsmoki cut into the lead midway through the game. We'll keep trying to win in each game in order to reach the postseason and advance past the first round.

Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Igor Grishchuk:
- Congratulations to my colleague on the win. Avtodor deserved to win, given they have a lot of very talented players, against whom we still have a hard time competing. Plus, we were very short on options today. Mirkovic got injured a few days ago and Maras picked up an injury during the game. Grey was playing through pain. We did what we could given the circumstances.