Khimik Cling On To Take First Win

29 January 2013

EUROCHALLENGE

6. Vitaliy Kovalenko (Khimik)
Vitaliy Kovalenko took Khimik to their maiden win in the Last 16, scoring 14 points

Khimik Yuzhne hung on down the stretch to get off the mark in Group K, edging the Norrkoping Dolphins 81-76 for their first win in the EuroChallenge Last 16.

After a tense first half that saw the lead change hands no less than 12 times, Khimik made a break for it early in the third quarter with a quick 8-0 spurt giving them a 51-42 lead on Sava Lesic's lay-up.

A three-point play from Vernon Goodridge moments later pushed it to double figures at 56-46.

But the Dolphins did not go away and six unanswered points had them back within four, 62-58, on Christian Maraker's free throw early in the fourth quarter.

That set up a tense finish to the game, with the gap closing to 72-70, 91 seconds from the finish, when Edgars Jeromanovs scored four straight points.

Khimik responded with free throws from Goodridge and Willie Deane to pull clear once more, and although Keith Gabriel nailed a three-pointer with 38 seconds left, the visitors would hold them off from the charity stripe.

Vitaly Kovalenko led Khimik with 14 points while Stanislav Zavadskyi added 12 and Deane and Sergiy Popov collected 11 each.

Jeromanovs led the Dolphins with 22 points while Gabriel added 17 and Joakim Kjellbom 10.

The result leaves both teams at 1-2 in the group.


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