Monaco rallies past Ulm, books ticket to Top 16
AS Monaco booked its ticket to the Top 16 in its first season in the 7DAYS EuroCup by fighting back from a 12-point deficit to beat ratiopharm Ulm 84-81. Monaco was down by 12 points in the third quarter, but Yakuba Ouattara and Elmedin Kikanovic both scored 22 points and Paul Lacombe added a career-high 21 points in the victory. Monaco improved to 6-2 with five wins in its last six games to become the first team to reach the Top 16 from Group A. Ulm had won two of its last three games, but dropped to 3-5 and will need help if it wants to advance to the next round. Javonte Green scored 18 points, Isaac Fotu had 15 points and 7 rebounds and Patrick Miller chipped in 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in the loss.
Ryan Thompson opened the scoring for the visitors as Ulm hit 3 three-pointers for a 12-19 lead. Katin Reinhardt came off the bench and hit a triple of his own as the lead grew to 16-27 after 10 minutes. The gap was 20-31 when Lacombe took over with 9 straight Monaco points before handing over the scoring duties to Kikanovic, who had 7 points in a row as the gap was trimmed to 36-38. Ulm punched back with a 2-8 run only to see Lacombe score again to put the hosts within 40-46 at the break. Bogdan Radosavljevic and Fotu helped push the lead to 42-54, but Ouattara finally started to stamp his authority on the game with 10 points in three minutes and Kikanovic trimmed the gap to 56-61. It was 58-65 after 30 minutes. Kikanovic's three-point play opened the fourth quarter, but Max Ugrai answered with a three-pointer to start a 3-8 spurt for a 64-73 advantage. Monaco's defense stepped up in allowing just 1 point in the next five minutes and Ouattara's three-pointer made it 75-74 for the team's first lead of the game. The lead switched hands three times with Green's three from the left corner giving Ulm the lead 80-81 with 7.4 seconds. But Ian Hummer scored with 3.2 seconds left to give the hosts back the lead and then Lacombe stole the inbounds pass and laid in the final points of the game.
Ulm still winless on the road
Ulm missed a golden chance to finally snap its EuroCup road losing streak, which extended to 14 games dating back to October 2016.
Monaco had been close a number of times, but finally took its first lead on a three-pointer by Yakuba Ouattara with 1:23 minutes left. Derek Needham added a three-pointer of his own and Ian Hummer's layup with 3.2 seconds was the final lead change.
Ouattara had been struggling to get going with just 2 points for the first 24 minutes before scoring 10 points in the second half of the third quarter. He added 10 more points in the fourth quarter.
Monaco forced just 7 Ulm turnovers, but the hosts held Ulm to 39.1% on two-point shots and won the rebounding battle 39-32.
Monaco will look to take another step in securing first place in the group after the national team break when it hosts Galatasaray Istanbul. Ulm will have to wait two weeks before it hosts MoraBanc Andorra and can think about rebounding from the disappointing defeat.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018