Tofas beats Partizan, edges closer to Top 16
Tofas Bursa took a big step towards reaching the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 with an 82-72 victory over Partizan NIS Belgrade on Wednesday. Sammy Mejia led the way with 26 points as Tofas improved to 4-3 in Group B. Matt Lojeski added 15 points, Tarik Philipp had 14 and Devin Williams chipped in 12 points and 9 rebounds for Tofas, which kept Partizan from booking its ticket to the next round. Partizan has dropped two straight in falling to 5-2 despite Nemanja Gordic scoring 15 points and Stefan Bircevic posting 11 points and 6 rebounds. While Partizan lost, the visitors managed to secure the head-to-head advantage over Tofas after winning the Round 2 game by 13 points in Belgrade.
Lojeski scored 4 points as the hosts went ahead 6-2 in the early going. Partizan cut it to 6-5, but Mejia tallied 6 straight points in a 10-0 Tofas surge to lead 16-5. Bircevic’s free throws stopped the drought and 3 points from Gordic had Partizan down 18-10 after 10 minutes. A Mejia triple started the second quarter and Partizan only managed 2 free throws while committing three shot-clock violations in the first 4 minutes of the frame while watching Muhsin Yasar push the gap to 25-12. Williams upped his quarter total to 7 points as the Tofas advantage grew to 30-16. At the other end, Uros Trifunovic finally hit Partizan’s first three-pointer after nine misses and a Bircevic triple cut it to 33-24. Rashawn Thomas also was on target from the outside for the visitors, who trailed 42-31 at the break. Lojeski opened the second half with a triple and DJ White’s basket made it 47-33. Partizan cut into that cushion with the long ball as Marcus Paige hit 2 threes and Gordic also drained a triple to move within 50-42. Gordic added two more scores and another triple before Novica Velickovic’s three-pointer got the visitors as close as 58-54. The hosts recovered and led 63-54 after 30 minutes. Tofas started another quarter with a three, this time Philipp to get the lead to double-digits 66-54. Philipp and Mejia both added triples and a Yasar basket increased the gap to 76-60. William Mosley stepped up to make sure Partizan would at least have the head-to-head advantage with Tofas with 9 straight points as well as a block and Paige’s triple made it 80-72 in the final minute.
Starters go missing for Partizan
Partizan’s starting five totaled just 16 points while hitting just 6 of 24 shots from the field, including Rade Zagorac, whose 4 points were well below his average of 10.8 coming into the game. Rashawn Thomas tallied 7 points - 8.3 points fewer than his average.
While Sammy Mejia was a major scoring threat, Muhsin Yasar collected 6 points on 3-of-3 shooting to go with 5 rebounds and 4 blocks in 18 minutes off the Tofas bench.
Tofas shot 57.1 percent from two-point range and converted 16 of 22 free throws (72.7%) compared to 45.7% and 10 of 12 for Partizan, which turned the ball over just 8 times.
Tofas remains at home and will welcome Umana Reyer Venice on Wednesday, November 20. Partizan will look to move into the Top 16 next week when it hosts Rytas Vilnius.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019