Nizhny fight till the end, CSKA make semi-finals!

Nizhny fight till the end, CSKA make semi-finals!

CSKA beat Nizhny Novgorod at home in quarterfinals game 3 – 79:75 (25:25, 18:16, 17:22, 19:12).

Top scorers
CSKA: Daniel Hackett (22), Tornike Shengelia (12), Will Clyburn (11), Johannes Voigtmann (10 + 9 rebounds).
Nizhny Novgorod: Artem Komolov (22), Anton Astapkovich (14), Kasey Shepherd (12 + 8 assists).

The series between CSKA and Nizhny was the only one in the first round that reached the third game. It started as hard as the previous two. A strong start of the quarter by Michael Eric helped CSKA take a brief lead, but Nizhny answered with three shots from beyond the arc and took the lead, 21-14. Kasey Shepherd then committed two turnovers in a row, which the Army team took advantage of, and five points by Will Clyburn in the bottom of the fourth quarter helped CSKA tie the game at 25-25.

In the second 10 minutes, the Army team brought their signature defense and took control of the game. Tornike Shengelia and Daniel Hackett led 12-2, giving CSKA its first double-digit lead of the game, 41-31. But it was too early for the home team to relax. Astapkovich scored five points to lead 10-2 on a Volga run, and the teams went into the half with a minimal Red and Blue advantage, 43-41.

The third quarter was a swinging game with constant lead changes. Sergey Toropov set the tone for the final 10 minutes with a shot from beyond the arc, followed by a three-point outburst by Johannes Voigtmann (twice), Hackett, Shepherd and Andrey Vorontsevich. The visitors were up ahead at the end of the quarter, and Nizhny led 63-60 heading into the final period.

Key moment
In the final quarter, CSKA’s defense again proved its strength. While the Army team couldn’t boast a high-scoring performance, they allowed only 6 points in 9 minutes to their opponent. With one minute left in regulation, the home team led 73-69. But Artem Komolov made just one basket from beyond the arc to cut CSKA’s lead to one point. But in the final seconds of the game, the Army team played better: first, they forced Sergey Toropov for the fifth foul, widened the lead, and then forced Astapkovich to leave the floor. The visitors got their last hope with another bomb from Artem Komolov three seconds before the final whistle – 77-75. But Daniel Hackett cold-bloodedly converted free throws after a tactical foul by Nizhny, making the difference fatal for the visitors.

Daniel Hackett. CSKA most active player in the game spent 33 minutes on the floor, shared best scorer honors with Artem Komolov (22 points) and made 4 crucial free throws in the final minute without a miss.

5 – steals made by Nikita Kurbanov tonight. CSKA forward set career-high in this indicator.