Jelovac drops season-high 38 points on Venezia, picks up Top Performer honors
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - Nizhny Novgorod star big man Stevan Jelovac had one of the more memorable solo performances in FIBA Europe Cup history, on the second leg of the Quarter-Final tie against Umana Reyer Venezia.
The 28-year-old Serbian set a new season-high with 38 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 94-90 victory at home in Russia that ultimately wasn't enough for Nizhny Novgorod to overturn a 10-point deficit from the first game on the road.
The 38-point total was the second-highest in the FIBA Europe Cup, just one point shy of the all-time record co-owned by Spencer Butterfield and John Roberson.
Having gone 11-of-19 from the field, including 7-of-9 from three-point range, and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line, Jelovac also added a pair of assists and a steal. He fouled out in the fourth quarter with an overall efficiency of 45, which puts him in elite company, tying Darrin Govens of Falco Vulcano for the best efficiency score this season and just south of the all-time record of 46 held by last season's Donar Groningen stand-out Chase Fieler.
No one even came close to challenging Jelovac for Top Performer honors this week, with the rest of the slots on the Team of the Week divvied up between Nizhny Novgorod guard Jake Odum, Juventus Utena power forward Maksym Korniienko, Donar Groningen floor general Brandyn Curry and Jeffrey Crockett of Bakken Bears.
Also impressive against Reyer Venezia, Odum complemented the majestic individual display of Jelovac with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists, four of which went to his on-fire Serbian teammate.
Elsewhere, not much was going for Juventus Utena in an 85-68 defeat against Sidigas Scandone Avellino, other than an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double by Maksym Korniienko. Having been solid in the first leg in Lithuania, the Ukrainian big man closed out his European campaign with two strong games against tough Italian opposition.
Despite big performances from Jelovac, Odum and Kornieenko, their teams did not advance to the Semi-Finals. The story is very different with Brandyn Curry and Jeffrey Crockett, who celebrated favorable outcomes in the Quarter-Finals and earned the right to continue their FIBA Europe Cup journey.
Invisible in the first leg against Mornar Bar on the road, Curry turned things around with a 19-point, 5-rebound, 8-assist and 2-steal contribution in Groningen, as Donar defeated their Montenegrin visitors 101-74 at the MartiniPlaza to comfortably triumph by 21 points on aggregate.
Meanwhile, an inspired effort on the glass and a 16-point, 17-rebound double-double by Jeffrey Crockett helped Bakken Bears defend a 14-point first-leg lead in France, against ESSM Le Portel. The game went to overtime, but the Danish title holders eventually held on, despite picking up an 86-80 loss on the night.