20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
31 Dylan Ennis (ZARA)
Game Report
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Ennis' season-high silences crowd in Nizhny Novgorod: Zaragoza eliminate the hosts in QF

NIZHNY NOVGOROD (Russia) - Casademont Zaragoza are the first Semi-Finalist of the Basketball Champions League 2020-21 season, after beating the hosts Nizhny Novgorod 86-78 as part of another Ennis show in front of an amazing crowd in Russia.

Turning point: Coach Zoran Lukic had a good game plan, his guys executed it to perfection with a 28-point first quarter. Meanwhile, Casademont Zaragoza looked like they needed time to get used to having more than 1500 fans in the stands, and could not establish their fast-paced rhythm early on in the game.

But despite all of Zaragoza's troubles and all of Nizhny Novgorod's good play, the hosts failed to open up a bigger lead, with Elias Harris keeping Zaragoza in single digit deficit all the way until the end of the first half.

That allowed Dylan Ennis to just take over in the third quarter. The Canadian lightning bolt scored nine points in that period, charged the team with energy all the way to a 71-60 lead, and hit another big time three-pointer when Nizhny Novgorod made it back to 71-68 midway through the fourth.

That fueled another little 5-0 run to put more daylight between the two, turning the game into another uphill battle for Nizhny Novgorod the rest of the way. Lukic's guys had their chances to get back to -2 or -1, but failed to score over the last 90 seconds of the game.

Stats don't lie: Shutting down Kasey Shepherd was number one priority for coach Luis Casimiro. Mission was successfully completed, the MVP of the Play-Offs was held to 9 points on 3-of-11 shooting, missing all six three-point attempts. Nizhny were 9-of-30 from beyond the arc as a team, and Zaragoza did what they do best: 15-7 in point from turnovers, 18-9 in fast break points.

Game hero: Dylan Ennis. Playing against Nizhny Novgorod is something he obviously enjoys, the only two previous 20+ point games of the BCL season for the explosive guards were against  - Nizhny Novgorod, twice in the Regular Season. The Quarter-Finals were the perfect timing for a new BCL season-high, he had 21 in the first three quarters, finished with 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, with 5 rebounds and 4 assists also to his name.

Bottom line: Casademont Zaragoza move on to the Semi-Finals and wait for the winner of the ERA Nymburk v Pinar Karsiyaka duel. Nizhny Novgorod finish their season without a chance to fight for the throne, but this was a sublime run for them even without the trophy. Coach Zoran Lukic was selected Coach of the Season, Kasey Shepherd made the Star Lineup First Team, and Andrey Vorontsevich (17 points) kept the fans singing in this one. A lot of positives for the hosts.

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