AS Monaco desperately needed a home victory against Rytas Vilnius and the team came up with a historic first-half performance - including some lights-out three-point shooting - for a crucial win to stay in the mix for the 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals.
Monaco allowed just 15 points in the first half - and just 3 points in the second quarter - in registering an 86-61 win over Rytas, which left all four teams in Group G with 2-2 records. With a tiebreaker possibly looming, Monaco can feel good about the 25-point drubbing of Rytas, especially after it lost by 5 points last week in the Lithuanian capital.
"Today was a great answer to what we want to achieve. Last week was hard for us, going there and not playing with a lot of energy. It was a good reaction, especially the first half," Monaco coach Sasa Obradovic said.
Rytas's 15 points in the first half were its fewest ever in the EuroCup - with the EuroCup record for fewest points in a half standing at 13 points. The 38-point (53-15) halftime deficit was Rytas's worst in EuroCup history - snapping the previous mark of 23 against Strasbourg in the 2006-07 season. And the 38 point difference was Monaco’s biggest at halftime - with the record being 43 points for Crvena Zvedza against Germani Brescia Leonessa in December 2018. Monaco also just missed holding Rytas to the fewest points ever in a EuroCup quarter, with the all-time mark being 2 points.
"It was a good win for us. We needed it. The team came out with a lot of energy. We played well. We did what we were supposed to do," said Monaco’s leading scorer Norris Cole, who had 17 points including 2 three-pointers.
Monaco was just off of breaking its record for most points and three-pointers made in a game - having scored 91 points against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in November 2018 and hitting 13 triples against MoraBanc Andorra in December 2018.
Monaco nailed 12-of-25 three-pointers (48.0%), which was much better than its season average of 29.4% from downtown. Dee Bost nailed 4 three-pointers in scoring 16 points while Anthony Clemmons and Yakuba Ouattara both drained 3 triples for Monaco, which made 9 of its first 13 three-pointers in building the big first-half advantage. Monaco also ended up with just 9 turnovers as Coach Obradovic’s team committed just 1 turnover in the first 20 minutes.
When Monaco needed it most, it came up with a historic showing to stay alive in the race for the quarterfinals.