03april

Avtodor Outguns Krasny Oktyabr

Avtodor Saratov defeated Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd at home, 102-95. The visitors enjoyed the upper hand early, leading by as much as 16, before Avtodor came storming back. The outcome was decided in the 3rd quarter. Saratov blew out Volgograd by 18 points in the period to secure a decisive advantage.

Saratov significantly increased its chances of a top-6 finish with the win and could still move as high as 3rd. Krasny Oktyabr drops to 10th with a 4th consecutive defeat.

Recap
These two teams were in contrasting form entering Sunday's game. Volgograd had lost three in a row and recently got eliminated from playoff contention. Saratov, on the other hand, boasted an eight-game winning streak and looked to stay hot at home.

Avtodor, however, got off to a sluggish start. The visitors were dangerous from the perimeter, led by the trio of Viacheslav Zaitcev, Andrei Mateiunas and Vasily Zavoruev. The Oktyabr snipers combined to go 8-9 from downtown in the early going, giving the visitors a 41-25 lead in the 2nd quarter.

Saratov head coach Vladimir Antsiferov was forced to call a timeout. Coming out of the mini-break, Avtodor locked in defensively, started to connect from outside and crashed the glass in waves. Not surprisingly, the deficit quickly disappeared. Paul Stoll and Evgeny Kolesnikov put together a 10-0 run and Avtodor entered halftime with a one-point advantage, 50-49.

Stoll and Travis Peterson opened the 3rd quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers. Saratov continued to pull away, feeding the ball inside, running the fast break and hitting from beyond the arc. Artem Klimenko's dunk to start the 4th put the home team on top by 21, 84-63.

Volgograd didn't crumble. Jerry Jefferson hit a few baskets and Max Konate and Viacheslav Zaitcev also chipped in. Two 3-pointers from Vasily Zavoruev in the final minute cut the deficit to five, 100-95, but there simply wasn't enough time. Avtodor extends its winning streak to nine and closes to within a game and a half of 3rd-place Lokomotiv.

Star Player
Reggie Williams. The American got going in the 2nd quarter, helping Avtodor storm back from a big deficit. Williams also had six important points in the final minutes to hold off Oktyabr's desperate push.

Stat of the Game
16 - Oktyabr erased most of the 21-point deficit in the 4th quarter, but it wasn't quite enough. 

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