UNICS, McCollum Shred Kalev On The Road

UNICS, McCollum Shred Kalev On The Road

UNICS Russia defeated Kalev Estonia on the road, 107-95 (25-22, 17-25, 21-33, 32-27).

Top Scorers
Kalev: Arnett Moultrie (22 + 10 reb), Chavaughn Lewis (16 + 10 ast), Branko Mirkovic (16)

UNICS: Errick McCollum (33), Jamar Smith (19), Evgeny Kolesnikov (10)

Errick McCollum dazzled with 33 points on 12-13 shooting and UNICS dealt Kalev a stinging defeat at home, 107-95.

The Estonians need every win they can get in the chase for the League’s final playoff spot. Early on, it looked like the home team might just spring the upset on 2nd-place UNICS. 

Big man Arnett Moultrie looked very comfortable down low, scoring 10 points in the first six minutes to give Kalev a 17-13 lead. 

Up three at the end of the 1st quarter, Kalev hung tough with Kazan in the 2nd quarter, too.

Despite giving up a 7-0 run early in the period, the score was tied 40-40 with a minute remaining in the first half.

UNICS, however, entered the locker room on a 7-2 run, capped by Anton Ponkrashov’s 3 at the buzzer.

Turning Point
Kazan’s lead ballooned in the 3rd quarter as Errick McCollum scored 12 of his 33 and the visitors turned a close game into a rout. 

UNICS scored 33 in the period, taking an 80-63 lead into the 4th quarter. While Kalev hoped to make a case for the 8-seed with an upset, Kazan was equally motivated to keep its 1st-place hopes alive.

The visitors went up by as much as 21 early in the 4th quarter, erasing any doubt as to the outcome. 

The victory is Kazan’s 18th of the season. UNICS needs four more to seal the regular-season title. 

Kalev drops to 10-12, one game ahead of Avtodor for 8th place with a huge road game on Sunday in PARMA next on the schedule. 

107 – this was UNICS’s first time scoring over 100 points this season.

Kalev head coach Donaldas Kairys: “Despite UNICS’s talent, I expected we would compete harder and be more aggressive on defense. It didn’t work out. We didn’t have enough energy and our opponent did everything it could to stop us on every play. UNICS did a good job shooting at a high percentage. But I can’t imagine how you can be down by 20 and only have one team foul. That needs to be fixed, especially mentally. We have important games ahead and we need wins.”

UNICS head coach Dimitris Priftis: “We played attacking basketball today. We scored more than 20 points in every quarter. We were outstanding in the 3rd quarter when we took a decisive lead and were able to hold it to the end. Kalev can be very dangerous if you let them dictate the conditions. But when we got more aggressive, we got the result we wanted. At the same time, our opponent battled for every ball and grabbed offensive rebounds. Congratulations to my players and good luck to Kalev.”


09/04/2019 Kalev-UNICS 95:107