Tale Of Two Halves: Oktyabr Stuns Enisey On The Road

Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd defeated Enisey Krasnoyarsk on Sunday evening, 94-86. The home team led by 19 at halftime, but gave up 58 points in the second half to suffer a crushing defeat. Oktyabr snaps a five-game losing streak and moves into 10th place.

The stakes were high in Krasnoyarsk. Oktyabr forward Viacheslav Zaitcev spent several years with Enisey, while teammates Vasily Zavoruev and Jerry Jefferson each played one season with the Siberian club. Vladimir Pichkurov and D.J. Kennedy's stints in Volgograd were brief, but the Enisey players still had something to prove in Sunday's encounter. 

Oktyabr head coach Kirill Bolshakov put all of the ex-Enisey players in his starting lineup, then watched as his team fell behind, 22-11, in the opening period. Denis Zakharov led the way for Enisey, scoring eight points in the quarter on 3-4 shooting.

The visitors kept it close early in the 2nd quarter, scoring on several fast breaks. But Enisey took over once again in the final minutes of the half. Alexey Vzdykhalkin and Zakharov combined to put the home team on top, 55-36, at the end of 20 minutes.

Leading by 19 to start the 3rd quarter, the home fans watched in horror as Oktyabr steadily cut into the deficit. Zaitcev, Zavoruev and Ekene Ibekwe helped the visitors trim Enisey's lead to four, 71-67, entering the final period.

Turning Point
Ibekwe gave the visitors their first lead of the game midway through the 4th quarter, 77-76. Volgograd never looked back, outscoring Enisey 17-10 over the final five minutes to secure a thrilling comeback win on the road. Krasnoyarsk had several chances to make it close down the stretch, but turnovers and missed shots doomed the home team to defeat.

Star Player
Vasily Zavoruev. The Russian guard didn't score a single point in the first half. But he was huge in the second half, knocking down several key shots to spark Oktyabr's incredible turnaround.

Stat of the Game
19 - Oktyabr's halftime deficit. Aggressive defense and unselfish play helped Volgograd erase the deficit and pull out a big win.

Enisey head coach Oleg Okulov:
- We're to blame for what happened. I warned the team in the locker room that our opponent hadn't given up and would keep battling. I demanded that we keep pushing and play with the same aggressiveness on defense as we did in the first half. But we committed 20 turnovers, allowed the opponent back into the game and then stopped playing defense and helping each other out. I'd like to apologize to the fans for our play.

Krasny Oktyabr head coach Kirill Bolshakov:
- The team wasn't very balanced in the first half. I don't want to blame the long flight. It was probably more an issue of discipline. We got two technical fouls. Instead of helping out when Krasnoyarsk cracked our zone defense, Jefferson let our opponent get open looks from the perimeter, etc. During halftime, we had a serious conversation about discipline and defense, which is why we were able to come back and win.