Limoges uses defense to down Rytas
Limoges CSP registered its first win in Group B by downing visiting Rytas Vilnius 82-61 on Wednesday. Both teams now hold 1-1 records in the group. Limoges took the lead at the end of the first quarter, but pulled away for good early in fourth, using a 19-6 spurt to open an unsurmountable 17-point margin. Semaj Christon led Limoges with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Vincent Sanford netted 16 points to go with 6 rebounds. Hugo Invernizzi was 4-for-6 from three-point range for 14 points. Marcus Ginyard and Brian Conklin finished with 10 points apiece for the winners. Pako Cruz was Rytas's top scorer with 13 points, and Terrell Holloway added 10 in defeat.
The teams traded blows early on, with Brian Conklin and Christon hitting consecutive threes to give Limoges the lead, before triples from Cruz and Eimantas Bendzius made it 14-17 for Rytas. Christon remained hot, and Invernizzi hit from downtown to restore a Limoges lead at the end of first quarter before a three-point play from Conklin made it a 24-17 lead. Christon's jumper extended it to 29-21 midway through the second quarter, but Holloway got Rytas going and Arnas Butkevicius made a corner triple, cutting the difference to 33-31 at halftime. Holloway opened the second half with a second-chance triple as the teams continued to trade leads. Butkevicius had a three-point play and Cruz hit a triple for the visitors, but Jerry Boutsiele hit a jumper and Vincent Sanford nailed a pair, giving Limoges a 43-42 advantage. Mindaugas Girdziunas hit one from downtown for Rytas, but Invernizzi had 2 triples in a 9-0 run that opened a 56-48 advantage. A pair of threes from Deividas Sirvydis cut the lead to 58-54 at the end of the third quarter, but Marcus Ginyard had a triple and a three-point play to open the fourth and extend the margin for Limoges. Baskets were few and far between until a jumper from Christon and back-to-back triples from Sanford capped a 10-0 Limoges run, pushing the margin to 77-60 with 2 minutes to go, sealing the deal.
Semaj Christon scored 11 of his 19 points in the first quarter, Hugo Invernizzi netted 11 of his 14 points in second and third quarters, while Vincent Sanford netted 9 of his 16 points in the final 2:40 of the game to put the game on ice.
Been a long time
Limoges held Rytas to 61 points, which is tied for the second-fewest points Limoges has allowed in a EuroCup game. The only time Limoges allowed fewer points was in its first-ever EuroCup game, when it held PAOK Thessaloniki to 59 points in the 2014-15 season.
Free throw woes
No team in Round 1 scored more than the 92 points that Rytas put up, but the team scored just 61 in Round 2. Apart from being forced into 18 turnovers, and held at 9-for-31 on two-pointers, Rytas also struggled mightily from the foul line, making just 13 of 25 free throw attempts.
Rytas returns home next week, and will host the group leader Partizan NIS Belgrade (2-0), while Limoges goes on the road to face Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (1-1).
Wednesday, October 9, 2019