16april

VEF Stops Avtodor!

VEF defeated Avtodor at home, 103-91. Riga pulled away late in the first half and led by as much as 26 in the 3rd quarter. Saratov mounted a furious comeback, but never really threatened, suffering its first defeat since mid-February.

Intro
Avtodor needed a win to keep pace with Khimki for 5th place, while VEF looked to move into 10th with a victory.

Saratov started the game on top, feeding the ball to big men Artem Zabelin and Travis Peterson for an early 13-6 lead, but VEF star Francisco Cruz quickly tied the score with a 7-0 run.

Saratov got going again midway through the 2nd quarter, jumping in front by 10 points, 33-23. The rest of the quarter, however, belonged to VEF. Riga got more aggressive on defense and unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers to pick up an eight-point advantage at halftime, 47-39.

The Latvians continued to dominate in the 3rd quarter, stringing together a 15-point surge to go on top by 23, 62-39.

To Avtodor's credit, the visitors fought back, using a full-court press to trim the deficit to 12, 74-62, entering the 4th quarter.

Turning Point
Midway through the final period, Avtodor cut VEF's lead to six, 84-78, but that was as close as the visitors would get. Saratov struggled defensively down the stretch, allowing Josh Bostic, Mareks Mejeris and Francisco Cruz to score at will. Janis Berzins ended any remaining intrigue with a '3' in the final minutes, making it a 10-point game, 97-87.

Star Player
Josh Harrellson. The VEF center had a huge impact on the game, putting together a monster double-double: 17 points and 19 rebounds.

Stat of the Game
19 - number of rebounds collected by Josh Harrellson. He finished one rebound shy of the league record set this season by Josh Boone.

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