ESRA – Fener downs Nizhny to extend winning run to six in Euroleague

Fener downs Nizhny to extend winning run to six in EuroleagueSerbian power forward Nemanja Bjelica paced Fenerbahe ulker for a 92-79 win over Nizhny Novgorod in round nine of the Euroleague Top 16 in front of its home audiences on Thursday. The hosts increased their winning streak to six in Group F with the victory and remained the runner-up with a record of 7-2.

Bjelica netted 16 points while Ricky Hickman and Jan Vesely added 13 each. Andrew Goudelock also scored in double digits and hit 10 points.

All 12 players of Fenerbahe ulker contributed to the score. Trey Thompkins was the top scorer on the court with 22 points in defeat.

Fenerbahe coach Zeljko Obradovic said his side played well, praising their performance in the second quarter andldquoWe were particularly good in defense,andrdquo he said in his post-game remarks, noting they had rested on their laurels in the third period and had therefore restarted the game.Bjelica said they needed the victory in front of their home fans following five consecutive road victories.

andldquoNow we have a Turkish league derby and then weand#39ll get ready for Athens,andrdquo he told the broadcasterObradovicand#39s side is pursuing the Group F top spot as it is set to face leader Olympiacos Piraeus in round 10 next week. Before that, the Istanbul club meets archrivals Galatasaray Liv Hospital on the road.

Fenerbahe dominated the entire game except for the third quarter, when the visiting side scored 21 points as opposed to the hostsand#39 12. It was impressive particularly in the second quarter as it ended in a 32-17 lead in favor of the hosts.

There was a close race in the first quarter of the game. OIuz SavaIand#39s free throws started the scoring and put Fenerbahe up 2-0.

Thompkins two layups put Nizhny 8-4 in front. Bjelica netted from behind the arc to give Fenerbahe a 14-13 edge and his free throws made it 18-17 for Fenerbahe at the end of the first quarterLuka Zoricand#39s free throws brought the score to 20-17 while Ricky Hickman hit from the downtown to increase the margin to six: 23-17.

Goudelock scored free throws and a two-pointer by Bojan Bogdanovic extended the margin to double digits: 28-17. An Emir Preldzic layup increased the margin to a game-high 22 points, 42-20, while a Goudelock layup handed Fenerbahe a 50-34 lead at halftime.

The visiting side had a strong start into the third quarter A two pointer by Gal Mekel reduced the deficit below the 10-point mark: 50-41. A Bogdanovic layup and the ensuing mid-range shot by Goudelock gave Fener the 54-41 lead halfway through the period.

Nizhny returned from a timeout with four points and further two three-pointers plus a layup by Thompkins reduced the margin to five: 60-55. Bogdanovic scored free throws as Fener took a 62-55 lead going into the last 10 minutes.

The hosts reclaimed their double-digit edge at the beginning of the final period. Vesely blocked a Nizhny attack and a Bjelica dunk several seconds later to make it 71-57, getting the crowd on its feet in elation.

Two consecutive three-pointers by Dimitriy Khvostov brought his side within 88-77. Even though Nizhny tried hard to catch, the hosts did not let the margin drop to less than 10 and finally wrapped up the game 92-79.

Other Euroleague results on Thursday: Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 74, CSKA Moscow 81 Panathinaikos Athens 77, FC Barcelona 81 Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 89, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 76.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman