By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike James (16 points, four assists), Johannes Voigtmann (14 points, seven rebounds) and Darrun Hilliard (13 points) were behind a fourth-quarter triple burst that pushed CSKA to victory.
“Today we kept our composure, and this composure is something that can lead us in a correct and good direction”, said coach Dimitris Itoudis, not only about the win but mainly about the way his team finished the game. “Besides the shots we made and the ball movement we had, and transition game, our defense was at a very good level, which is another plus.”
With the score 61 – 61 early in the fourth period, James and Hilliard hit two 3-pointers apiece for a 0 – 12 run that put CSKA up by double digits with less than six minutes remaining. Voigtmann later added another one from beyond the arc for the 67 – 80. Overall, the “Army Men” made more 3-pointers (16/33) than 2-pointers (12/24).
“In the third quarter, Zenit had their momentum and came back to tie the game, but it actually showed we have a character”, added Itoudis. “Even though they tied the game, we came up with big shots, some good ball movement, some good defenses – and won by a big margin”.
CSKA wanted to bounce back after losing at home to Olympiacos and that was a big motivation for the team, as Mike James admitted: “We lost a game earlier this week and wanted to bounce back and show that we can fight and play as a team. We moved the ball today. It was a full team effort, everyone helped us out, and it was a team win. Today, we played more together and with more heart. Two days ago we did not play with a lot of energy. I think today we had a lot more energy as a team and we just shared the ball a little bit better.”
Zenit, that had previously come back from a 37 – 54 disadvantage in the third quarter thanks to a 0-15 run, couldn’t make respond. Gustavo Ayon finished with 20 points and eight rebounds while Will Thomas and Austin Hollins dropped 14 and 13 points respectively for the losing side. Zenit is now 2-4.
Photo credit: EuroLeague