Perfect Partizan grabs second road win
Partizan NIS Belgrade remained perfect in the 7DAYS EuroCup by capturing a 61-66 road victory at Rytas Vilnius. Marcus Paige scored 17 points with 4 three-pointers, Nemanja Gordic scored 13 points and dished 7 assists off the bench and William Mosley picked up 11 points and 7 rebounds for the visitors, who improved to 3-0 - including two wins away from home. Rytas, which dropped to 1-2, wasted a 15-point, 5-assist night from Pako Cruz while Eimantas Bendzius chipped in 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals in the loss.
Rytas got on the board with a three-point play by Cruz as the Mexican guard picked up 7 points for a 9-3 lead. Partizan hit just 1 of 8 shots to start the game until Corey Walden’s basket, but Bendzius’s three-pointer made it 16-9. Gordic changed the rhythm for Partizan with 3 assists and a basket and the visitors trailed just 18-17 after 10 minutes. Gordic scored again and assisted on a Mosley basket to even the game at 21-21. Bendzius responded with 5 points in a 7-2 spurt to send Rytas ahead 28-23. But after hitting just 1 of 11 three-pointers, Partizan got back-to-back triples from Walden and Paige for its first lead and was up 30-34 at the break. Paige started the second half with a three-pointer to push the lead to 7 points and the advantage was 37-46 thanks to a put-back and three-pointer from Stefan Bircevic. Partizan failed to score for more than 3 minutes and Rytas raced ahead 48-46 with an 11-0 run. Gordic however finished with the final 4 points to make it 48-50 after 30 minutes. Four free throws helped Rytas even the game at 52-52 before another Paige three-pointer and Mosley’s basket made it 53-57 for the guests. Cruz’s three-ball trimmed the gap to 1 point but a Gordic jumper after 2 offensive rebounds had Partizan up 56-60 with just more than 2 minutes left. Evaldas Kairys followed with 2 free throws, but he then missed a layup with 93 seconds left and split foul shots with 45 seconds to play to keep Rytas down 59-60. Gordic answered with a huge three-pointer for a 59-63 cushion with 27 seconds to play and the hosts’ fate was sealed when Cruz missed a three-pointer.
EuroCup first for Partizan
The victory was the first for Partizan in the EuroCup against Rytas, having lost its previous six games against the Lithuanian side. Rytas won both regular season matchups in 2014-15 and 2017-18 as well as two games in last season’s Top 16.
Nemanja Gordic once again came off the bench and was outstanding for Partizan. The veteran collected 13 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in 24 minutes.
Partizan shot only 47.5 percent and 25.9% from two and three-point range, respectively but the Serbian side held Rytas to just 37.1% and 27.3% and forced 17 turnovers in getting the win in a defensive battle.
Rytas heads back on the road and will take on Tofas Bursa with a 1-2 record on Wednesday, October 23. Partizan looks to make it four straight wins when it plays at home against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on Tuesday, October 22.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019