Lokomotiv Back On Track

08 January 2008

Lokomotiv Rostov breathed life into their season by winning on home soil in Russia over Ukrainian opponents Khimik on Tuesday.

After successive setbacks in Group D, and with the team struggling in the Russia Superleague, the team grinded out a 76-65 victory.

Khimik still top the group at 2-1 though.

Milan Minic, who recently replaced Oleg Meleshenko as coach, had words of praise for his players after the victory over Khimik.

Kresimir Loncar (Lokomotiv Rostov)
Kresimir Loncar had yet another solid game, contributing 13 points to Lokomotiv's victory

"This game was very important for us. We didn’t have the right to lose. I want to say thanks to our players. They tried to be at their best in this game."

The best of the best was Szymon Szewczyk, who came into the game averaging six points in the EuroCup.

He erupted for 27 points on 11 off 16 shooting, including three of six (50%) from behind the arc.

The 2.09m center also had eight rebounds.

The important run in this game occurred with 7:36 left the second quarter, when the hosts led 25-23.

They outscored Khimik 11-1 over the next four and a half minutes to grab a 36-24 advantage.

The visitors chipped away at the advantage before the break, and then at the start of the second half, Wykeen Kelly's three-ball cut Khimik's deficit to 36-34.

Szewczyk made a lay-up, and then drilled one of his three-pointers to spark a 9-0 run for a 47-36 advantage nearly four minutes into the period and this time, there would be no comeback.

The lead would balloon to 18 points in the fourth quarter before Rostov settled for a 10-point triumph.

Szewczyk wore a big grin after the game.

"There is no doubt this was one of my best games for Lokomotiv," he said. "I scored 27 points but it is not only my win.

"This is the win of the entire team."

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