Unicaja win BCL debut behind Jaime Fernandez's 21 points
NIZHNY NOVGOROD (Russia) - Unicaja had a successful Basketball Champions League debut, winning 79-62 over last season's quarterfinalists Nizhny Novgorod.
Turning point: Nizhny scored the first basket of the game, but it was all Unicaja after that.
Once Unicaja took the lead, they never looked back.
Nizhny pulled within a few points on several occasions in the game, but just couldn't get over the hump.
Unicaja ultimately pulled away and outscored their Russian opponent 27-13 in the fourth quarter.
Game heroes: Unicaja were led by Jaime Fernandez off the bench (21 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds), Tim Abromaitis (13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) and former NBA player Norris Cole (12 points, 3 assists).
The three players combined to make 15 of Unicaja's 29 total field goals and 7 of the team's 9 three-pointers.
Big man Michael Eric also added 9 points, 5 rebounds and protected the rim with 3 blocks.
Stats don't lie: Unicaja led the game for 38:25, while Nizhny only led briefly for 15 seconds when they were up 2-0.
The Spanish club outrebounded Nizhny 37-27 and outscored them 23-5 in second chance points.
Nizhny shot just 5-of-17 from three-point range, while Unicaja went 9-of-24.
Unicaja were efficient, shooting over 50% from the field.
Bottom line: Unicaja begin the 2021-22 season 1-0 in Group C, while Nizhny start their season 0-1.
Unicaja and Lavrio Megabolt, the two 1-0 teams in the group, will play each other next on Oct. 20, while Nizhny and JDA Dijon, the two 0-1 teams, square off on Oct. 19.