Monaco gets first-ever EuroCup home win
AS Monaco grabbed its fourth win in five games by edging Morabanc Andorra 81-73 in a thriller at home on Wednesday. Monaco improved to 4-1 in Group A, while Andorra dropped to 2-3. Gerald Robinson paced the winners with 20 points, Yak Ouattara added 19 and 9 rebounds, Elmedin Kikanovic scored 14 points and Lazeric Jones got 13 for Monaco. David Jelinek led Andorra with 12 points, Michele Vitali added 11 and Moussa Diagne 10.
Ouattara and Kikanovic shined early to give Monaco an 8-2 lead. Ian Hummer soon added a block and before Andorra called timeout at 14-6. The visitors found a go-to guy in Diagne, who had 8 quick points to help his team take the lead, 18-19, after 10 minutes. A wild three-point play by Robinson saw Monaco regain the lead at 23-21 early in the second quarter. Vitali tried to change things for Andorra and an uncontested layup by John Shurna prompted Monaco to stop the game at 33-31. Rafa Luz followed a triple with a stop-and-pop jumper that put Andorra back in charge. Robinson kept pushing Monaco and a layup by Reggie Upshaw fixed the halftime score at 44-44. Robinson fueled a 6-0 run that gave Monaco a 53-46 margin soon after the break. Dylan Ennis and Andrew Albicy rescued Andorra, but Jones and an outstanding Ouattara kept Monaco ahead, 61-56, after 30 minutes. Andorra improved its defense and a layup by Jelinek gave the guests a 61-63 edge with under six minutes left. Robinson and Ouattara took over, but a three-pointer by Vitali turned the game into a thriller, 71-70, with over two minutes remaining. Jones followed free throws with a critical three-pointer that sealed the outcome, 76-70, as Andorra never recovered.
Robinson was consistent the entire game, scoring 14 points before halftime and finishing with 20 plus 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 fouls drawn.
Monaco led 71-70, but Jones drew a foul, calmly made free throws and soon added a three-point shot that caused Andorra to call timeout at 76-70. Monaco controlled the game from that moment until the final buzzer.
Ouattara averaged 1.5 points and a PIR of 0.4 in the first 10 games of this EuroCup career – eight with Elan Chalon sur Saone in the 2013-14 season and his first two games with Monaco this season. In the last three games, Ouattara has lifted his numbers to 19.3 points and a PIR of 21.7!
Did you notice?
It was Monaco's first-ever home win in EuroCup history; its previous three victories were on the road. Andorra has never won a EuroCup road game; it is 0-8 in the last two seasons.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday, November 7: Monaco hosts Germani Brescia Leonessa at 19:45 CET and Andorra welcomes Galatasaray Istanbul at 20:00 CET.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018