Unicaja make it rain threes in big win over JDA Dijon
MALAGA (Spain) - Unicaja kept their perfect season alive in the Basketball Champions League with a dominant 83-54 win over JDA Dijon.
Dijon was shorthanded, as they only had eight players mainly in the rotation for the game.
Sek Henry led Dijon with 16 points and Abdoulaye Loum scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
Unicaja are now the third Spanish team to have won their first three games in the BCL and only the second team from that country to have won each of those three games by 16+ points (also Lenovo Tenerife in 2016-17).
Dijon's 54 points in tonight's game are a joint-low for them in a single BCL game ever - also 54 against ERA Nymburk in January 2021.
Tonight's loss by a 29-point margin was Dijon's joint-third heaviest defeat ever in the BCL (also 29 points against Tofas Bursa in January 2021), after losing by 40 points against ERA Nymburk in January 2021 and by 32 points against Casademont Zaragoza in January 2020.
Turning point: Unicaja blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Dijon 26-7 and stretching their lead to 62-36 at the end of the quarter.
Game heroes: Axel Bouteille (15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists) and Dario Brizuela (16 points, 2 assists) had the highest efficiency rating for Unicaja (18 and 14 respectively) and combined to knock down seven three-pointers.
Brizuela has scored exactly 16 points in each of his last two games in the BCL, after scoring 15+ points only once in his previous 15 appearances in the league.
Stats don't lie: Unicaja forced 14 turnovers in the first half and scored 17 of their 36 first half points from those turnovers.
Unicaja forced a total of 22 turnovers and scored 31 total points off the turnovers.
Unicaja knocked down twelve more three-pointers than Dijon (15-3) and shot an efficient 57.7% from beyond the arc, compared to only 20% for Dijon.
Unicaja also spread the ball around throughout the game and doubled Dijon in assists (26-13).
Bottom line: Unicaja are now 3-0 and in first place in Group C.
The Spanish club will travel to face Dijon again next on Nov. 16.
Dijon fall to 1-2 and are currently in second place in the group.
The French club will host Unicaja again next on Nov. 16.
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They said: "I think we did a really really good job, especially moving the ball," said Francis Alonso. "It was a really tough road, we played like two days ago. Especially giving this effort in front of this beautiful crowd, we gotta thank them so much to come around here and support us is for sure a big factor."
"It was a good game for us, we need a game like this," said Brizuela. "Everybody is scoring, everybody is playing good defense, we enjoyed the game, so it's nice for us."
"A lot of turnovers and they got a lot of transition points, transition threes … and then when we stopped scoring, it seemed like our defense lowered even more," said Henry. "This was a bad loss. I mean, we're better than this even though we're missing some key players. It should've been at least a closer game or been fighting until the end."