By: Jay Yeomans
Published: October 24, 2019
Jimmer Fredette delivered his best offensive showing of the EuroLeague season as Panathinaikos held on to knock off Zenit St. Petersburg 89-79 on the road on Thursday.
The former BYU guard led the way for the Greens, finishing with a game-high 22 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line. He added four assists and a pair of rebounds in 21:08 on the floor.
DeShaun Thomas, Jacob Wiley, Nick Calathes, and Ioannis Papapetrou also played key roles for Panathinaikos who improved to 2-2 in EuroLeague action with the win. Thomas totaled 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor while Wiley managed 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field.
As for Calathes, he showed off his passing mastery with a game-high 15 assists to go along with eight points, five rebounds, and three steals. Papapetrou chipped in with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Mateusz Ponitka led a balanced scoring attack for Zenit with 16 points and seven rebounds while Andrew Albicy recorded 15 points on 4-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc while adding five assists and three steals.
Will Thomas and Gustavo Ayon also made solid contributions to the tough Russian squad with 12 points and six rebounds apiece.
Fredette did most of his damage in the second half with 16 points as Panathinaikos turned a two-point lead into a 10-point win. He was especially good in the third quarter with 10 points including both of his 3-pointers and three of his four assists.
The Swish Cultures YouTube Channel put together a highlight package of Jimmer’s big scoring night.
Fredette shared his thoughts on the game, including how he bounced back with the strong second half. He said, “I wasn’t playing great in the first half, I missed some open shots, but I just wanted to come out in the second half and be aggressive. My teammates did a great job and finding me, getting open shots, and they were fortunately falling. It was a great team effort; everyone contributed. Every time we play on the road is tough. We had two tough close losses recently. It is great to be able to pull out a victory in a close game. It builds our confidence as a team. We have a really good team, a lot of talent. We’ve just got to learn how to play together and learn how to win. This was a big step for us tonight.”
Through four EuroLeague games, Fredette is now tied for 13th in the league averaging 15 points on 48.6 percent shooting from the field, 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and 94.4 percent from the foul line. He also contributes 2.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 23:18.
Thoughts on the game
It seems like with more touches, Jimmer has started to find his offensive identity a little more. While tonight was a rough shooting night from beyond the arc – he connected on just 2-for-8 from distance – Fredette did a great job at getting to the paint and finishing close to the basket. For the second game in a row, he also showed some excellent court vision as he found guys for really clean looks.
Fredette and his Panathinaikos teammates return to Greek League action on Saturday with Aris Thessaloniki.
Aris has had a tough go of it so far this season dropping three games in a row after winning its first game of the campaign in overtime.