Rytas rolls past Partizan and into Top 16
It was all good news for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius on Tuesday evening as Travis Peterson and Jimmy Baron erupted for season highs in a 93-75 rout of Partizan NIS Belgrade at Siemens Arena that eventually sent the team into the Top 16. Rytas improved to 4-3 with its second victory this season over Partizan, which fell to 1-6, but needed to wait a few more hours after the final buzzer until Limoges CSP beat RETAbet Bilbao Basket to formally secure a spot in the next stage. Peterson fueled a 17-4 second-quarter run that helped the hosts to an 11-point halftime lead. Behind Patrick Miller, Partizan battled back to within 3, but Peterson teamed with Rokas Giedraitis as Rytas pulled away for good and was able to cruise down the stretch. Baron made 5 of 9 three pointers for 22 points and Peterson finished with 21, while Chris Kramer provided 12 points, 6 assists and 3 steals and Martynas Echodas added 10 points. Miller paced Partizan with 20 points and 7 assists, Doko Salic scored 15 and Nikola Tanaskovic 11. The visitors, who were without Nigel Williams-Goss and Novica Velickovic, committed 20 turnovers.
Echodas made an early impact with 5 points in a 7-2 Rtyas start. Partizan came right back with the next 5 points, but Rytas regained the lead and protected a slim edge for the rest of the quarter. Andreja Stevanovic’s second three-pointer made I a 1-point game, but Ben Madgen’s first basket since his return from injury left the hosts on top 22-19 after 10 minutes. Salic free throws and a Miller layup to start the second quarter gave Partizan its first lead, 22-23. Peterson stepped up to score Rytas’s next 7 points, including a triple that got the hosts back in front, 29-27. Kramer’s steal and layup capped an 11-2 Rytas run that made it 35-29. Baron added a long three and Echodas free throws to take the margin to
double figures. Vanja Marinkovic showed the Partizan spirit with a tough layup and a blocked shot, but Peterson reached 16 first-half points with a layup that put his team in control, 47-36, at the break.
A strong start to the second half by Salic kept Partizan in the hunt and Miller scored twice, which prompted a Rytas timeout at 53-48. Giedraitis revived Rytas with a triple, but Partizan found its groove and got within 3 on an Aleksandar Aranitovic triple. However Giedraitis and Peterson stepped up at both ends as Rytas scored the next three baskets to rebuild its comfort zone. A three-pointer by Madgen – his first of the season – restored a double-digit margin and Loukas Mavrokefalidis free throws ended the third quarter at 69-56. Peterson’s third three of the game opened the fourth-quarter scoring and gave him a season-high 21 points. Partizan continued to play hard and a Tanaskovic three got the visitors within 75-64, but Baron heated up from downtown to keep Rytas rolling. The lead peaked at 20 on a layup by Margiris Normantas as the home fans went home smiling.
Tuesday, December 5, 2017