Crvena Zvezda locks down Zenit in Saint Petersburg

2021-12-03T20:55:45+00:00 2021-12-03T22:13:34+00:00.

Stefan Djordjevic

03/Dec/21 20:55

Crvena Zvezda went on the road to Russia as an underdog but came out victorious against Zenit with a convincing display, especially on defense

By Eurohoops team/

Crvena Zvezda has been a well-known defensive force this season in Euroleague and they’ve demonstrated the full might of it in a dominant 69-58 road win over Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Zenit was kept to a season-low in scoring but what was even more impressive was the consistency with which the Serbian squad did it. Zenit’s most efficient quarter was the first with 16 points, followed by two quarters with 12 points, and the 18 points in the final period.

Zvezda created a 42-28 lead at halftime, increased it to 20 (58-38) after the break and never looked back.

On the offensive side, Nate Wolters scored 14 points for the winning team with Nikola Kalinic and Ognjen Kuzmic adding 11 each.

For Zenit, Jordan Mickey scored 16 and Conner Frankamp 12 points. The Russian squad’s leading scorer (and Zvezda’s former player) Jordan Loyd was kept to just five points and 0-8 from the field, allowing him only baskets from the free-throw line.

With this outcome in Round 13, Zvezda improved to a 5-8 record while Zenit now stands at 8-5.

Coach Dejan Radonjic was satisfied with the turnaround his team did, compared to the previous game.

“First of all, congratulations to the players for the good game and the win. As I said before the game, it was important for this game to play differently than the last one against UNICS, and we did it. From the beginning, our defense was good, for 40 minutes. The second half, especially in the beginning, we gave up so many turnovers, but we played good defensively and I think we deserved the win.”

On the contrary, Zenit couldn’t handle the aggression put on by Zvezda and coach Xavi Pascual just had to admit defeat.

“They played more aggressive than us in all the situations, defensively and offensively. They put us completely out of the game, so we have to congratulate them, they were much better than us. When we were behind in the score, we didn’t find the way to play, we made a lot of turnovers, all the team was very nervous.”