Dynamo St. Petersburg took a significant step in attempting to defend their title from last year by defeating Maroussi 64-53 in the teams’ opening game best-of-three quarterfinal match-up.
Kelly Mc Carty scored a game-high 19 points and Dynamo controlled almost the entire game.
Dynamo trailed at only one time in the game: 3-2 in the opening minutes.
They took control midway through the first half by going on an 11-2 run to take a 27-18 lead and held an eight-point lead going into halftime.
|Kelly Mc Carty had a season high 19 points for Dynamo|
Dynamo maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
But Maroussi went on a 6-0 run towards the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. Georgios Karagkoutis' lay-up with 9:06 remaining in the game brought the home team to within four points at 50-46 with 9:06 remaining in the game.
Ognjen Askrabic hit a three-pointer on Dynamo’s next possession to open a seven-point lead, 53-46.
They extended their lead to double-digits as Mc Carty was fouled on a three-pointer with just under six minutes to go in the game. He hit all of the free throws to give Dynamo a 56-46 lead and from there, the Russian club would cruise to victory.
Askrabic finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Roderick Blakney led the way for Maroussi with 15 points.
The quarter-finals match-up between Dynamo and Maroussi features two teams that have been at the forefront of FIBA Europe club competitions.
St. Petersburg claimed the FIBA Europe League championship last year in their first season of existence, while Maroussi were runners-up in 2004.
Maroussi entered the game as the team with the best record from Round II, while Dynamo advanced to the quarter-final round by virtue of the tie-breaker after finishing in a tie for second place in their group.
The second game of the series will be on Friday in St. Petersburg.