UNICS Kazan defeated Nizhny Novgorod at home, 89-64 (29-16, 15-14, 21-15, 24-19).
UNICS: Pierria Henry (15 + 6 ast), Jamar Smith (13), Maurice Ndour (12)
Nizhny Novgorod: Kendrick Perry (14), Ivan Strebkov (12)
UNICS improved to 6-1 with a comprehensive 25-point win at home over Nizhny Novgorod. The visitors were limited to 36% shooting from the field (20-55), while committing 19 turnovers.
Kazan quickly took control, racing to a 29-16 lead in the 1st quarter. Seven different players scored for the home team in the period–everyone on the roster would ultimately score in the contest–to overwhelm Nizhny.
UNICS runs 13-0 and leads after 1st Half vs Nuzhny Novgorod, 44-30 🎥 pic.twitter.com/a3YFUYp2RO
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) November 17, 2018
UNICS cooled off on offense the rest of the way, but never wavered on defense. Nizhny Novgorod trailed by 14 at halftime, 44-30, and fell even further behind in the second half.
In addition to the woeful shooting performance, the visitors were plagued by turnovers, giving up 25 points off turnovers to UNICS.
There were few bright spots for Nizhny, who did not have a single player finish with an efficiency rating above 9.
UNICS, meanwhile, was led by 15 points and six assists from Pierria Henry. The home team shot 53% from the field and only turned the ball over nine times.
3 – number of wins separating 3rd-place UNICS and 4th-place Zenit. With St. Petersburg and Krasnodar both suffering surprising losses at the start of the season, the League’s top three teams (CSKA, Khimki, UNICS) have a big gap on the rest of the pack.
UNICS has a chance to create even more separation in a few weeks when they travel to St. Petersburg for a December 8 showdown.
UNICS head coach Dimitris Priftis: “First of all, I want to congratulate the players. We really played well. We played like a team and everyone made an impact. And I’m happy because we were focused the entire game and played with intensity. We kept the same approach throughout the entire game. I’m very happy about that, because I think Nizhny is a very serious team. They play the game the right away and are very organized.”
Nizhny Novgorod head coach Zoran Lukic: “Congratulations to UNICS on the win. This is a team that knows how to win. They care about the game and winning. Unfortunately, we saw a regular group of guys at the other end. My collective did not approach the game professionally today. That’s how they started the contest, then the game was lost in the 2nd quarter. It’s not so much the basketball. The reason was the approach. We’ll deal with that tomorrow already.”