Lokomotiv beats Limoges, clinches Top 16 spot
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar became the first team to qualify to the Top 16 from 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season Group B by topping Limoges CSP 64-72 on the road on Wednesday. Lokomotiv improved to 6-1 in the standings and mathematically secured its place in the next round, while Limoges dropped to 2-5. Dorell Wright led the winners with 16 points, Dmitry Kulagin added 15 and Jamel McLean had 12 for Lokomotiv. Axel Bouteille paced Limoges with 17 points, Dwight Hardy added 14 and Samardo Samuels 10.
McLean and Kulagin shined early to give Lokomotiv an 2-8 lead. Jerry Boutsiele and Hardy stepped up for Limoges and a three-pointer by Damien Inglis allowed the hosts to regain the lead, 11-10. Hardy and Samuels joined the three-point shootout for a 17-14 Limoges lead after 10 minutes. The hosts found a go-to guy in Bouteille, who had 7 points in a 12-0 run that he capped with a tip-in to make it a double-digit game, 29-16. Vitaly Fridzon, Wright and Kulagin each struck from downtown in a 1-11 run that brought Lokomotiv within 30-27. Samuels and Hardy kept Limoges ahead, 37-33, at halftime. A three-pointer by Isaiah Whitehead and a layup by Kulagin restored a 37-38 Lokomotiv lead right after the break. Isaiah Miles struck from downtown to give Limoges a 43-42 edge. Trevor Lacey and Dmitry Khvostov fueled a 0-8 run that put Lokomotiv ahead, 43-50. Boutielle and Samuels cut Limoges's deficit to 51-54 after 30 minutes. Inglis buried a triple to tie the game at 56-56 with seven minutes left. Wright led an 1-8 run that Kulagin capped with a jumper, which caused Limoges to call timeout at 57-64. A jumper by JaJuan Johnson and free throws by McLean sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Jamel McLean helped Lokomotiv in many ways, finishing the game with 12 points on near-perfect shooting (3 of 4 two-pointers, 6 of 6 free throws). He added 7 rebounds, of which 5 came on the offensive end, allowing Lokomotiv to get extra possessions, which made the difference in a very close game.
With the game tied at 56-56, Dorell Wright scored 4 points, Vitaly Fridzon collected a steal and fed Jamel McLean for a dunk and Dmitry Kulagin hit his trademark stop-and-pop jumper for a 57-64 Lokomotiv lead. The visitors managed to control the game from that moment until the final buzzer.
Lokomotiv outrebounded Limoges 24-35, including 16 offensive boards. On a day in which most of its outside shots did not go in (Lokomotiv shot 7 of 29 on three-pointers, 24.1%), Lokomotiv powered the offensive glass to find its way to another victory.
Did you notice?
Lokomotiv has made it past the regular season in each of its six EuroCup seasons. It also got past the second group stage - Last 16, Last 32 and Top 16 - in all of its previous seasons.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action on Wednesday, November 21. Lokomotiv visits Tofas Bursa and Limoges faces ALBA Berlin in the German capital.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018