Credit: Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire-Scanpix
Credit Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire-Scanpix

Zenit Saint Petersburg (6-1) overcame Nizhny Novgorod (4-4) 90-74 (23-22, 20-14, 27-22, 20-16) behind Conner Frankamp's best VTB League so far in the season.

Points this season

Points made: 74,3
Accuracy: 42,3%
Place in standings: 26
Record max: 86
Record min: 62
Best scorer: Sergey Toropov

The former UCAM Murcia guard stepped up big-time for the hosts who played without long-absentee Shabazz Napier, plus Jordan Loyd and Billy Baron.

Frankamp's season averages of 2.6 points and 2 assists had absolutely nothing to do with the 26-years-old's input in the Sibur Arena which came up to 20 points and 6 dimes.

Anton Astapkovich stopped at 23 points in a losing effort for Nizhny who were mostly competitive for three quarters against a superior rival.

Zenit came off the back of three consecutive EuroLeague losses, however, tonight they scored their sixth straight VTB win. On the other hand, Nizhny went on a long break from November 17 before losing in the Volga derby to Avtodor (94-100).

Led by the Strebkov-Astapkovich-Freimanis trio, Nizhny managed to stay close to Zenit in the first half, as the hosts had more turnovers than assists.

Conner Frankamp came back after suffering a harmless injury against Fenerbahce, scoring 14 points in the first quarter and leading Zenit to a seven-point advantage (43-36).

However, at the same time, Astapkovich was unstoppable, as the Russian forward scored 16 points. Xavi Pascual tried to contain him, but to no avail. The Spanish coach saw his players retain their offensive rhythm, as Ponitka, Mickey and Poythress offered some much-needed firepower.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas hit a jumper to make it 58-48 for the hosts and Frankamp made it 4 of 5 from distance to raise the bar even more (63-52). Despite the fact that Zenit kept up piling up turnovers, Igor Volkhin provided some additional help making sure that Nizhny would not get any closer.

Zenit never looked back and sealed another easy win. Pascual had the chance to use all of his bench players, even putting young Russian point guard Andrey Toptunov for five minutes.

Zenit Saint Petersburg: Conner Frankamp 20 (6/9 FG, 4/4 3PT SHOTS, 4/4 FT, 1 REB, 6 AST, 2 TO), Mindaugas Kuzminskas 10 (4/7 FG, 2 REB), Mateusz Ponitka 9 (6 REB, 4 AST, 3 TO), Sergey Karasev 9 (7 REB), Arturas Gudaitis 8 (2/6 FT, 5 REB).

Nizhny Novgorod: Anton Astapkovich 23 (9/13 FG, 4/4 FT, 8 REB, 3 AST, 3 TO, 3 ST), Sergey Toropov 11 (3/8 FG), Rolands Freimanis 9, Ivan Strebkov 8 (6 AST)..

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