Reyer survives Limoges late rally for 7th straight win
Umana Reyer Venice left Palais des Sports de Beaublanc with a 71-78 win over host Limoges CSP to stay atop Group B of the 7DAYS EuroCup. The visitors claimed their seventh win in a row and will need to wait for Wednesday’s game between Partizan NIS Belgrade and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar to learn if they secured first place of the group or not. With the loss, Limoges saw all its chances to qualify for the Top 16 vanish and it remained at the bottom of the group with a 2-7 record. The visitors needed to wait 12 minutes before taking their first lead, 15-16, but once they got in front, they never looked back. A rain of threes in the third quarter allowed Reyer to build a 14-point advantage, but Limoges fought back in the last and managed to get within 70-74 with less than a minute to go. The free throw accuracy made the difference for Reyer in the clutch moments, with Ariel Filloy and Mitchell Watt hitting the key shots from the line. Watt led Reyer with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Michael Bramos scored 13, Filloy 12 and Andrea De Nicolao had 11 for the winners. Brian Conklin posted 21 points and 5 boards in a losing effort, while Paul Stoll recorded 16 points and 8 assists in his return to the competition.
Limoges found the energy it needed coming from the duo of Stoll and Conklin in the early going. Conklin scored the first 6 points for his team, while Stoll complemented a remarkable defensive effort with a three to give the hosts a 9-4 lead. Anthony Brown and Hugo Invernizzi joined the party later, with Conklin making it a double-digit game, 14-4, midway through the first quarter. Watt came to the rescue for Reyer with a three-point play that seemed to wake his team up. With Stoll and Conklin resting on the bench, Limoges lost momentum and the visitors took advantage of it to reduce the gap to 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. Vidmar heated up in the second quarter followed by a triple by Filloy that capped a 0-9 run that brought Reyer in front for the first time, 15-16. De Nicolao hit again from downtown right before Watt started his show with 6 points in a row. Reyer switching defense stunned Limoges, while Ike Udanoh and Jeremy Chappel combined to make it 22-31. Stoll and Conklin tried to bring Limoges back to the game, but back-to-back treys by De Nicolao and Bruno Cerella were enough to keep a good margin for Reyer, 29-37, at halftime.
Austin Daye came up big after the break with a layup off an offensive rebound and a corner three for a 32-42 lead as Reyer dominated the boards on both sides. Vidmar added a free throw, but Stoll stopped the drought with a lucky three that started a long-distance shootout. Bramos replied with another three, while Invernizzi surged from deep to hit a couple of his own, the latter with a foul that Watt turned into a 5-point play by touching the ball trying to save it to make it 43-46. That was the closest Limoges would get, as Reyer reacted strongly and collected 15 points from just five possessions, good for a 49-63 lead at the end of the third quarter. Limoges tried hard in the fourth, knowing that a loss would definitively bury its Top16 chances, but Reyer had found the right momentum on defense. Even though the visitors got just one basket by Filloy and a couple of free throws by Daye, Limoges wasn’t much better, so the distance remained in double digits, 54-67, with 5 minutes to go. Ludovic Beyhurst and Boutsiele gave some breath to the home team, followed by a couple of threes by Brown and Stoll that brought Limoges within 65-70 entering the last minute. A basket plus foul by Stoll got everything even closer, 70-74, with 33 seconds to go, but cold-blooded Watts and Filloy didn’t tremble and added 4 points from the line to secure the win.
Lucky No. seven
Umana Reyer Venice didn’t start the season in good form, losing its first two games. Since then, it has the best record in the competition with seven straight wins. The Italian champs have beaten all the teams in the group and need just one more - or a Lokomotiv win on Wednesday - to secure the top spot in Group C.
It was raining threes
When Hugo Invernizzi brought the home team within 43-46 midway through the third quarter, the visitors excelled on offense to build a resounding reaction. They outscored Limoges 4-15 to escape again, thanks to 4 three-pointers and a three-point play in less than 3 minutes.
In Round 10 next week, Umana Reyer Venice welcomes Rytas Vilnius, while Limoges CSP travels to Belgrade to face Partizan. Both games will take place on Wednesday.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019