CSKA Moscow defeated Nizhny Novgorod on the road, 95-89 (25-21, 23-22, 24-20, 23-26).
Nizhny Novgorod: Georgy Zhbanov (18 + 9 ast), Christopher Czerapowicz (18), Evgeny Baburin (18), Vladimir Dragicevic (12)
CSKA: Nando De Colo (17 + 3 stl), Daniel Hackett (14), Sergio Rodriguez (13), Cory Higgins (12), Othello Hunter (10)
CSKA overcame fatigue to notch a victory in Nizhny Novgorod, 95-89, and improve to 21-4 on the season. The Army Men are in the midst of a four games in eight days stretch, but took care of business against a short-handed Nizhny Novgorod.
The home team trailed by only four points late in the 3rd quarter, before a 7-0 CSKA run pushed the deficit to double digits.
The visitors gradually pulled away in the 4th quarter, going up by as much as 13 on a pair of free throws from Sergio Rodriguez with five minutes remaining.
Despite scoring the game’s final seven points, Nizhny failed to threaten late and dropped to 12-10 on the season.
Nando De Colo led the scoring for the visitors–who had five different players in double digits–with 17.
Nizhny had three players score 18 each: Zhbanov, Czerapowicz and Baburin, but clearly missed Kendrick Perry’s playmaking, finishing with only 15 assists. The home team outshot CSKA from beyond the arc 10-2, but 19 turnovers and a big disparity in free throws doomed Nizhny.
31 – CSKA scored nearly a third of its points off of Nizhny’s 19 turnovers.
Nizhny Novgorod head coach Zoran Lukic: “When you’re playing such a serious opponent like CSKA, especially in our situation, it’s hard to put pressure on the guys and demand a win. Right now we have nine players on the roster and three were virtually absent on the court today. You may as well not even name them. You saw everything yourselves. 31 points for our opponent off turnovers: that was the reason for the loss.
You also saw one young player do his job with honor. Overall, I’d say we played an honest game today. We played like men without sparing any emotions or effort. We fought to the end. CSKA is a strong opponent and deserved to win this game. If we had one or two more players on the roster, it would have been different, but what can you do. We’ll move forward and prepare for Avtodor.”
CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis: “Congratulations to my team on the win. Right now we are in the midst of a mini-marathon with three games in five days in the VTB United League. Today Nizhny, like our first game, played very physical basketball with a lot of fouls. They were aggressive on offense and used a lot of iso’s. We were much better in the second half, at least for most of it. We even led by 13 points. There were issues on defense in the first half, but we didn’t give up the lead. Our main goal in games like these is to win.
I also want to congratulate Nizhny Novgorod. Like usual, they competed extremely well. I wish them luck.”