Record-breaking quarter carries Rytas past Lokomotiv
Rytas Vilnius started the 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup season with a thrilling 92-86 victory at home over Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, thanks in large part to a record-breaking team performance.The 2005 and 2009 EuroCup champion Rytas tallied 40 points in the second quarter in the Group B game to set a new best mark for the club while Eimantas Bendzius tallied a career-high 27 points. Pako Cruz chipped in 16 points and 8 rebounds and Martynas Echodas added 14 points for the winners. Johnny O’Bryant tallied 24 points and 10 rebounds, Dmitry Kulagin scored 19 points, and Alan Williams picked up 13 points and 10 rebounds for Lokomotiv.
Lokomotiv used the three-ball to move ahead early with O’Bryant knocking down 2 triples for a 4-12 lead. A Williams three-point play helped the guests lead 16-23 after 10 minutes and the advantage was up to double digits 18-28 on a Mantas Kalnietis long ball. Rytas stormed right back with a barrage of treys of its own with Bendzius hitting twice from deep in a 20-3 run for a 42-35 lead. The hosts charged on with Bendzius draining yet another triple and the gap was 56-44 at the break. Rytas scored 40 points in the second quarter. Lokmotiv opened the second half with a 2-12 surge to cut the gap to 58-56. Rytas had bent but Bendzius would not let the hosts break with 2 more three-pointers as Rytas led 72-63 after 30 minutes. Lokomotiv fought back into the game and trimmed the difference to 80-76. The guests did not let up and O’Bryant’s jumper made it 89-86 with 40 seconds left. But Arnas Butkevicius hit 2 free throws with 18.9 second left to ice the game.
First basket of the season
Martynas Echodas will go down in the record books having scored the first points of the 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup season, throwing down a dunk in the opening seconds of the game for Rytas.
Rytas club record
Rytas scored 40 points in the second quarter, setting a new club record, topping the 35 points the Vilnius side scored in the 2014-15 Last 32 against PGE Turow Zgorzelec. And the 40 points evened the mark for the third-best total in EuroCup history with Dynamo Moscow in 2007-08 against Panellinios Athens. The all-time record for points in a single quarter is 44 by Hapoel Jerusalem in 2009-10 against Galatasaray Cafe Crown.
Eimantas Bendzius was there all game for Rytas, not only draining 6 three-pointers in scoring a career-high 27 points but also picking up 4 rebounds and 2 steals for a performance index rating of 27.
Rytas committed only 6 turnovers and kept Lokomotiv well in check from inside the arc as the guests shot just 48.8 percent on two-pointers.
Rytas will next head on the road to take on Limoges CSP on October 9 looking for a second victory. After taking the loss to start the Group B campaign, Lokomotiv will welcome Umana Reyer Venice on October 9.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019