Tsmoki Defends Home Court

Tsmoki-Minsk defeated Astana at home, 87-83. The home team led most of the game and took a seven-point advantage into the 4th quarter. Astana charged back, knotting the score with less than six minutes to play. But Tsmoki held on for victory, surviving a scare in the final minute to emerge with an 87-83 win.

Tsmoki led early, jumping in front 11-6 on an Aliaksandr Kudrautsau '3'. Astana answered quickly, holding the home team scoreless for five and a half minutes to take a 16-11 lead late in the opening period.

Trailing by two at the end of the 1st quarter, Minsk held the visitors to 15 points in the second period to go on top by seven at halftime, 41-34. Kudrautsau led the way for the home team, connecting twice from deep to finish the half with 11 points.

Astana struggled from deep in the 2nd quarter, missing all four attempts after starting the game 3-6 from downtown.

Kudrautsau drained another '3' to start the second half, putting Tsmoki on top by 10. The tempo picked up at both ends. Tsmoki and Astana combined for 52 points in the 3rd quarter, with the home team taking a 67-60 lead into the final period.

Yauheni Beliankou gave Tsmoki an eight-point lead, 74-66, at the 7:53 mark, drilling his only 3-pointer of the game.

Astana responded with a 10-2 run, knotting the score at 76-76, with 5:50 to play. Point guard Jerry Johnson sparked the comeback, forcing a turnover, drilling a '3' and feeding Nik Caner-Medley for a game-tying 3-pointer.

Tsmoki's defense came up huge down the stretch. The home team held Astana scoreless for five minutes, going on top by six, before Kenneth Hayes finally got a 3-pointer to fall with 46 seconds left on the clock.

Turning Point
Astana's Pat Calathes cut the deficit to two, 85-83, with 13 seconds to play. On the ensuing Tsmoki possession, Hayes forced a turnover, giving the ball back to Astana.

Calathes had a chance to tie, but his shot was off the mark and Tsmoki's Garrett Stutz scooped up the rebound. Fouled immediately, Stutz made both free throws to seal a win and help Minsk improve to 7-13.

Star Player
Anthony Hilliard. The American guard was Tsmoki's number one option on offense, finishing with a team-high 21 points (60% from the field) and five rebounds.

Stat of the Game
37-19 - Tsmoki-Minsk had a big advantage in bench scoring.