Teodosic leads Virtus to first place
Segafredo Virtus Bologna finished first in Group A by downing AS Monaco 72-81 on the road on Tuesday. Virtus finished 8-2 in Group A and Monaco was third with a 6-4 record. Milos Teodosic led the winners with 25 points. Kyle Weems added 17 while Frank Gaines had 12 for Virtus. Eric Buckner led Monaco with 12 points. Anthony Clemmons added 11 and Paul Lacombe 10 for the hosts. Clemmons and Lacombe shined early, getting help from Norris Cole and Yakouba Ouattara to give Monaco a double-digit advantage, 24-11, after 10 minutes. Teodosic and Weems tried to change things for Virtus, bringing the guests within 35-30 at halftime. A three-pointer by Filippo Baldi Rossi gave Virtis the lead, 51-52, late in the third quarter, and an unstoppable Teodosic made sure that the guests built a safe margin in the fourth quarter and cruised to a critical win.
Dee Bost and Lacombe fueled a 7-1 opening run highlighted by Clemmons's three-pointer. Giampaolo Ricci scored down low for Virtus and Weems added a turnaround jumper but Lacombe and Norris Cole kept Monaco in charge, 12-5. Weems kept pacing Virtus with a backdoor dunk but Monaco got its big men involved, as Eric Buckner and Wilfried Yeguete made the guests call timeout at 16-7. Teodosic struck from downtown but Clemmons hit a floater and Cole added a close jumper that made it a double-digit difference, 20-10. Norris buried a jumper and Ouattara an acrobatic basket for a 24-11 Monaco lead after 10 minutes. Yeguete and Kim Tillie gave Monaco a 15-point lead, 26-11, early in the second quarter. Weems stepped up with a put-back layup and an inbound steal, igniting a 0-7 run that Teodosic capped with a jumper to get Virtus within 26-18. Ouattara wowed the crowd with a terrific dunk in traffic and Buckner added an alley-oop slam, but Teodosic struck twice from beyond the arc as Virtus stayed within 30-24. Tillie and Ouattara continued pacing the hosts but Teodosic and Weems kept the guests within 35-30 at halftime. Ricci and Weems each buried a corner triple immediately after the break but Lacombe and Bost kept the hosts in charge, 39-36. Landing Sane bettered Weems's dunk with consecutive bombs from downtown, giving Monaco fresh air at 45-38. Ricci and Weems kept pacing Virtus, and Gaines added a driving layup to make it 47-44. Bost and Tillie buffeted Monaco, but only until Stefan Markovic and Baldi Rossi each struck from downtown to complete Virtus's comeback, 51-52. Norris hit his trademark stop-and-pop floater but Julian Gamble answered with a put-back layup and Alessandro Pajola added a driving basket for a 53-56 Virtus lead after 30 minutes. Buckner threw it down again early in the fourth quarter but Gamble and Teodosic boosted the guests' lead to 56-61 with over 7 minutes left. Gaines and an unstoppable Teodosic kept Virtus way ahead, 59-66. Buckner dunked and fed Lacombe for a layup before Teodosic singlehandedly restored a 67-73 Virtus edge with 2 minutes remaining. Gaines scored in penetration to seal the outcome, 67-75, as Monaco never recovered.
Teodosic was inspired all game long. He finished the game with 25 points on 3-for-5 two-point, 5-for-9 three-point and 4-for-4 free throw shooting. He added 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 22.
Monaco led 45-38 early in the second half but Ricci and Weems stepped up for Virtus, then Markovic and Baldi Rossi each struck from beyond the arc to put the guests ahead, 51-52. Virtus never stopped believing after that and eventually sealed an important win.
Defense that made Monaco to shoot the ball with very poor percentages – 18-of-46 inside the arc (39.1%) and only 4-of-23 from downtown (17.4%) – was the key for Virtus all game long. That allowed Virtus to pull down 34 defensive rebounds, its best mark this season.
Did you notice?
Teodosic scored a new Eurocup career high of 25 points. His previous best was also against Monaco, 24, earlier this season, when he buried the game-winning shot at the buzzer in Round 5.
Virtus and Monaco will return to 7DAYS EuroCup action when the Top 16 starts in the second week of January.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019