Dynamo Escape Fenerbahce, Advance To Last Eight

31.01.2006

Dynamo St Petersburg are still alive in the EuroCup after edging unlucky Fenerbahce in their last Round II game.

Looking dead and buried a few weeks ago, Fotis Katsikaris' Dynamo scraped their way into the quarter-finals after a 71-68 win in Istanbul.

Both St Petersburg and Fener finished Group I with three wins and three defeats, and Fener won the first game between the sides by three points.

Jarod Stevenson (Fenerbah├že SK Istanbul)
Jarod Stevenson missed a crucial free throw for Fenerbah├že down the stretch
That meant that goal difference in all of their Group I games was used as the next tie-break.

St Petersburg's was +1 compared to -9 for Fenerbahce.

Had the Russian team prevailed by just two points on Tuesday, then the Turkish club would have advanced to last eight.

BC Kyiv, the team Dynamo beat in last season's final in Istanbul, also advanced to the last eight of the EuroCup with a 96-87 triumph over a battling Nymburk.

Maybe there is something to be said for Dynamo playing their games in Istanbul because that is where last season they completed their storybook season with a victory over BC Kyiv in the final of the FIBA Europe League.

No team beat them in Europe last season.

On Tuesday, Fenerbahce fell behind 21-10 early in the second quarter but a Jarod Stevenson three-pointer sparked a 10-2 run during which Latvian center Kaspars Kambala scored the other seven points.

Dynamo twice took the lead back to eight points, but Fener surged at the end of the first half.

Damir Mrsic made a pair of free throws and, after Kelly McCarty travelled with 10 seconds to play, Erdal Bibo made him pay by hitting a three-pointer just before the end to leave the hosts behind 37-35.

Stevenson picked up right where Bibo left off by making back-to-back three-pointers at the start of the third quarter for a 41-37 lead.

McCarty, a member of Dynamo's title-winning side last year, hit a three but then Mrsic made two free throws.

Fenerbahce continued to lead but Dynamo fought hard, particularly with McCarty starting to find his range.

Stevenson's fourth three-pointer with five seconds left in the third put Fener ahead at 54-49.

They were still unable to extend the lead with Dynamo feeling the pressure of needing to win by at least three points to advance.

The lead changed hands seven times in the fourth quarter, but once Ognjen Askrabic scored with a jump shot with 1:40 to play, Dynamo had the lead for good at 67-66.

But they still needed another basket to take the advantage in the tie-breaker.

Askrabic answered the call again, tapping in a missed shot with 1:02 to play.

Kambala made one of two free throws and the advantage was with Fener, and when Damir Miljkovic's pass was intercepted by Mrsic with 39 seconds to play, the Turkish team looked as if they might just escape.

Cory Violette missed a shot with 20 seconds remaining, though, and that opened the door for the visitors.

Mrsic was whistled for a foul with eight seconds left on Jerry McCullough, who buried both free throws to put Dynamo back in the driving seat with a 71-67 advantage.

Fenerbahce had one last chance, and Stevenson failed to take advantage.

After being fouled by Miljkovic with four seconds remaining, Stevenson made the first but the 79.5% free throw shooter missed the second, and Dynamo rebounded.

Had Stevenson made the second, Dynamo would have needed to score at the other end but the pressure was off.

Stevenson fouled McCarty, who had grabbed the rebound, and he missed two from the line but Fenerbahce were unable to get off the game-winning shot they needed.

Stevenson led Fenerbahce with 17 points while Askrabic had a game-high 18 for Dynamo.


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