27march

Nizhny Novgorod Picking Up Steam

Nizhny Novgorod defeated Enisey Krasnoyarsk at home, 93-75. The Volga club took control in the 1st quarter, leading by as much as 11. Enisey mounted several comebacks, cutting the deficit to single digits in the 4th quarter, but Dmitry Khvostov and Rasid Mahalbasic always had an answer, guiding the home team to an 18-point win.

Recap
Both teams lost tough games in Europe prior to Sunday's contest and hoped to bounce back in the league. Not surprisingly, Nizhny was favored at home. In fact, the Volga club had never lost in Nizhny Novgorod to the Siberian club.

Early on, Ainars Bagatskis's team seized control, using the size advantage in the paint. Semyon Antonov and Rasid Mahalbasic carried the offense as Nizhny jumped out to a 21-10 advantage in the first seven minutes.

The 2nd quarter featured a duel between Mahalbasic and Enisey forward Artem Yakovenko. The Siberian big man got the upper hand and the visitors cut the deficit to seven at halftime, 46-39, despite eight points from Nizhny's Dmitry Khvostov.

Enisey started to run out of steam in the 3rd quarter. Khvostov and Victor Rudd sparked an 11-0 run for the home team, putting Nizhny on top, 59-43.

Oleg Okulov responded by benching his foreign players. The strategy worked initially. Krasnoyarsk got within nine, 69-60, with eight minutes to play.

But as soon as Khostov returned to the court, it was lights out for the visitors. The Russian playmaker scored seven straight to put the game out of reach and give Nizhny its 16th win of the season.

Star Player
Dmitry Khvostov. Nizhny's starting point guard focused on scoring, collecting a game-high 27 points on 11-17 shooting from the field.

Stat of the Game
41-27 - Nizhny's domination on the glass was a big factor in the win.

Quotes
Nizhny Novgorod head coach Ainars Bagatskis:
- Prior to the game, we were very concerned about the team's condition, because the game vs. Enisey was our third in a week. Plus, we had three overtimes, 11 hours on the road and a tough opponent awaiting us today. To be honest,  I think that Krasnoyarsk should be higher in the standings. The game was like a rollercoaster. We would play great basketball for 3-4 minutes, then let our opponent take advantage of our mistakes. But five minutes of great basketball from us to start the 4th quarter put everything in its place.

Enisey head coach Oleg Okulov:
- Congratulations to Nizhny Novgorod on the win. Despite our loss, the final margin doesn't reflect the quality of the game. I don't want to break down right now what went wrong for us. We'll discuss the results with the team.

Snapshot

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