Reggio Emilia avenge loss to Karsiyaka
REGGIO EMILIA (Italy) - After losing the first matchup to Pinar Karsiyaka on the road in Turkey, UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia bounced back this time around to defend home court in Italy, 74-70.
Karsiyaka have won only two of their six trips to Italy in the Basketball Champions League.
Turning point: Reggio Emilia jumped out to an early lead after one quarter, which was cut into by Karsiyaka in the second quarter, as the hosts were only up by two points at halftime (35-32). The two teams stayed within striking distance of each other, with neither gaining too much of an advantage heading into the final quarter.
After a slow start to the fourth quarter, the teams began trading blows down the stretch in the final minute. Braian Angola knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 69, but on the next possession, Nate Reuvers sunk a contested three as the shot clock was expiring to put Reggio Emilia up for good in the closing seconds.
Game heroes: Reggio Emilia team captain Andrea Cinciarini paced the team with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but in addition to Cinciarini, Osvaldas Olisevicius (18 points), Reuvers (16 points off the bench) and Sacar Anim (12 points) were also key contributors, as the four players combined for 60 of the team's 74 total points.
The four players also combined to make 22 of the team's 27 shots from the field and all 11 of the team's three-point shots.
Stats don't lie: It was a struggle for both teams from the free-throw line, as Reggio Emilia only converted 9-of-17, while Karsiyaka got several more attempts, but still only converted 18-of-29. Karsiyaka got more production from their bench (41-27) but couldn't fully capitalize on the road.
Bottom line: Reggio Emilia improve to 2-2 in Group B and the Italian club will travel to face AEK in their next game on Wednesday December 7. Karsiyaka, meanwhile, are also now 2-2 in the group and were led in defeat by Errick McCollum who finished with a game-high 19 points along with 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. The Turkish team will host Telekom Baskets Bonn in their next game on Wednesday December 7.
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Reggio Emilia lost the first head-to-head matchup 83-76 and they won tonight by four points meaning that Karsiyaka still own the tiebreak between the two teams if they were to finish group play with the same record.
"We are satisfied because we played a very solid game. We did a big step but now we have two more steps. In this very tough and balanced competition, the keys are how you play that kind of game... about attitude, about intangibles, about loose balls, about rebounds, and those were the keys to tonight's game." - Massimiliano Menetti, head coach UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia
"That was a tough game, very important to win. Pinar [Karsiyaka] is a great team full of talent, but today we were ready, we were ready to fight. Then, we made a big shot, we played together, we played with big energy, big heart. That's a big win because our group is very tough. It's four teams and all teams can go in the Top 16." - Andrea Cinciarini, UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia
"We just hurt ourselves. We got off to a slow start, we missed layups, self-inflicted errors. We gotta be better. It's hard to kind of win at the end when you don't play good throughout the whole game, so I hope we can improve. Our group is tough, we gotta regroup." - Errick McCollum, Pinar Karsiyaka