Taylor Rochestie returned to the Nizhny Novgorod line-up in style as his 19 points helped the Russian side beat EA7 Milano 79-59 in the Euroleague Top 16.
The American missed the last two Euroleague games due to injury but it didn’t stop Novgorod from advancing to the Top 16, and Rochestie’s presence along with Trey Thompkins, who also hit 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds was key.
A 17-3 run in the third, inspired by Thompkins was the ultimate game-changer, turned a 35-31 half-time deficit into a 59-44 advantage. Milano were unable to force a comeback.
“It was exciting to be back on the court with the team,” Rochestie said. “We kept fighting and playing our kind of basketball. This is a tough team but we kept getting stops and playing tough defense. And we got an important victory.”
MarShon Brooks paced Milan with 18, the only double digit scorer for the hosts.
The student defeated the teacher in Istanbul as CSKA Moscow edged Fenerbahce 84-81 after a period of overtime, giving former Panathinaikos assistant Dimitris Itoudis the win over former head coach Zeljko Obradovic.
A mid-range jumper from CSKA’s Sonny Weems with 25 seconds left took the game to the extra period, and from there a deep three from Milos Teodosic and a tip-in from Kyle Hines secured the win.
Weems and Hines led six CSKA players in double figures with 13 points.
“I think that both teams performed on a high level and gave a great game for the fans here in the gym and all over the world watching on TV,” CSKA coach Itoudis said. “Of course when a game goes like this and goes into overtime, both teams could win. It’s one point, one rebound, one steal, one extra pass — everything matters.
“So Fenerbahce could win also, and would have deserved it. But I’d like to say congratulations to my team. We have won on the road against a great opponent. To my point of view, it was justified by the action on the court. Fenerbahce was better with the addition of Zisis. They really performed excellent, as I say, to my point of view. So congratulations to my team. I think we showed character in the most crucial moments.”
Olympiacos beat Unicaja Malaga 69-61 on the road as the Greek side pulled away in the final quarter for their first win in the Top 16.
Othello Hunter led Olympiacos with a career-high 18 points, with Vassilis Spanoulis adding 11 points and 10 assists as the Reds led early in the first quarter and never looked back, despite Unicaja’s determination to fight back.
Jayson Granger hit 18 points for Unicaja.
Anadolu Efes came from behind to beat Laboral Kutxa 72-67 on the road thanks to a 17-9 fourth quarter that shifted the power to the visitors.
Stratos Perperoglou led the winners with 15 points as Anadolu fought back from a 13-point deficit.
“It was a very tough game, which I think Laboral Kutxa had under control for the first three quarters,” Anadolu coach Dusan Ivkovic commented. “We didn’t start the game at the level we expected and allowed them to play their game, with three-pointers and transition plays.
“We played a very good defence in the second half. They scored just 28 points, and 9 in the fourth quarter. I think was the key to the game. We have to keep on fighting, to play and win games until the end because this is a very tough competition, we just opened The Top 16 today.”
Reggie Redding, Jamel McLean and Leon Radosevic all scored 16 points to help ALBA Berlin beat Barcelona 80-70 in the German capital.
Barcelona led 40-39 at half-time but the hosts hit back by holding the Liga Endesa champions to just 8 points in the third quarter to lead 61-48 heading to the final period and never look back.
Marcelinho Huertas had a game-high 23 points for Barcelona.
Real Madrid overcame Red Star Belgrade 79-72 in the Serbian capital to start their Top 16 campaign off with a win.
Rudy Fernandez led the victors with 15 points.
“I think that our mentality and being aggressive on defense was the key,” said Fernandez. “It is difficult to play hard in this arena, but we played smart basketball and that allowed us to get the victory tonight. ”