Rilski Rally Not Enough Against Minsk

13 November 2013
20. Branko Mirkovic (Tsmoki Minsk)
Branko Mirkovic and Tsmoki Minsk survivd a tense finish to edge out Rilski Sportist

A fourth-quarter comeback from Rilski Sportist fell agonisingly short as they lost 78-73 to Tsmoki Minsk in EuroChallenge Group H.

The hosts began the fourth quarter trailing by 18 points and seemingly out of contention, but they cut the gap all the way down to three with 19 seconds left.

However, Corin Henry missed a chance to tie it and Parrish Petty iced the game for Minsk from the free-throw line.

Vincent Hunter led Minsk with 24 points and 11 rebounds, with Demonte Harper adding 18 with eight boards.

Having started slowly, Minsk had turned the game around with a 18-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters, coming from 24-11 down to lead 29-24 when Mikita Meshcharakou made a lay-up with 3:23 to go until half-time.

From there, they had seemed in complete control, with the lead growing to 18 when Hunter capped a 12-0 burst with a jump shot to make it 57-39 with 53 ticks left in the third period.

But Auston Calhoun scored five quick points to start the fourth as Rilski began the job of clawing their way back.

Henry added a three and a jump shot to make it 63-52, and two free throws from Evan Ravenel had it back to 74-67 with 1:38 to go.

Hunter padded the visitors' lead but they were contributing to their own downfall as Rilski capitalised on turnovers, Ravenel's jump shot making it 76-73 with 19 seconds to go.

Hunter missed two free throws to give Rilski a chance to tie it, but Henry's shot bounced clear and Petty showed the necessary composure in sinking both shots from the line with six seconds left.

Zlatin Georgiev had 15 points for Rilski with Henry adding 13 and 12 assists. Ravenel collected 12 points and eight rebounds.


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