By Stefan Djordjevic/ email@example.com
The 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup quarterfinals have tipped off with a Russian duel between Unics Kazan and Lokomotiv Kuban as the former started the series with a 94-88 win.
Nigel Williams-Goss was dominating the floor for Lokomotiv with 31 points on 12-20 shooting as he continued to prove how big of an addition to the team he has been.
However, that wasn’t enough to push Lokos to a win in this one, although they did have a solid started score-wise, leading 29-18 early in the second quarter.
Unics didn’t allow that to go on for long as they answered right back with an 11-0 run to tie it and slowly got up by 51-42 at halftime, with Isaiah Cannan and Jamar Smith bringing the necessary boost.
Not much changed in the second half as the teams went back and forth, and despite the guests posed a danger to turn things around, Unics managed to not make a slip-up until the very end and didn’t allow Lokos to take over the lead at any given time.
What has to be mentioned – and what was crucial in the outcome – is the astonishing difference in the type of shots the two squads took. Unics shot a total of 37 three-pointers this game and made 19 of them compared to Lokomotiv going 6-14 from deep. Most of the losing side’s baskets came inside the arc (28-50 vs Unics’ 13-40 2FG).
Cannan finished the game with 18 points followed by Smith with 17 and John Holland with 16. Okaro White added 13 points while on the other side, Drew Gordon helped out Williams-Goss with 15 and Andrei Martiuk with ten points. Kevin Hervey logged nine points and 13 boards.
Unics now leads the best-of-three series with 1-0 and they’ll have a chance to finish things on March 25 when the second duel is scheduled for.