Monaco gets first-ever EuroCup win in Brescia
In a battle of 7DAYS EuroCup newcomers, AS Monaco registered its first-ever win in the competition by downing Germani Brescia Leonessa 68-80 on the road on Wednesday. Elmedin Kikanovic paced the winners with 20 points, Gerald Robinson added 16, Paul Lacombe had 13 and Ian Hummer 11 for Monaco. Jordan Hamilton led Brescia with 16 points and Bryon Allen scored 13 for the hosts.
Monaco excelled on defense early, while Kikanovic and Lacombe helped the guests make it a double-digit game, 11-24. A three-point play by Hamilton brought Brescia within 14-24 after 10 minutes. Awudu Abass ignited the Brescia comeback and back-to-back baskets by Luca Vitali made it a 4-point game. A 0-7 run that Kikanovic capped with a close basket allowed Monaco to set a 36-43 margin at halftime. Kikanovic kept scoring fluently after the break and three-pointers by Derek Needham, Lazeric Jones and Gerald Robinson broke the game open at 50-65 late in the third quarter. Monaco kept full control of the game and a mid-range jumper by an unstoppable Kikanovic sealed the outcome, 60-74, with three minutes left.
Lacombe proved once again to be ready to become a EuroCup superstar. He had a strong all-around game against Brescia - 13 points on 5-of-5 two-point shooting, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. At age 28, Lacombe has just entered the prime of his career and is set to keep helping Monaco in many ways.
Did you notice?
Kikanovic did what he does best - hit two-point shots. With his 9 shots made inside the arc, Kikanovic has accumulated 334 career two-pointers, climbing to sixth place on the all-time list and about to overcome Kresimir Loncar (336) to reach the Top 5. He has done so with a very good shooting percentage, too, 57.5%.
In a slow-paced game, Monaco found its scoring rhythm right after the break. The guests scored 11 points in the opening three minutes of the second quarter, turning a 7-point halftime difference into a 14-point gap. That allowed Monaco to take full control of the game for good.
Indeed, two-point shots made the difference in this game and Kikanovic played a big role in it. Monaco hit 26 of 41 shots inside the arc (63.4%) and now leads the EuroCup in two-point shooting percentage. Brescia hit 22 of 41 two-point shots (53.7%) in this game, but struggled from downtown (4 of 21, 19.1%).
Brescia visits Morabanc Andorra on Wednesday, October 10 at 20:00 CET. It will have the opportunity to play against one of its former stars, Michele Vitali. Monaco hosts its first-ever EuroCup game against Kikanovic's former team, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018