Monaco opens season with win at Andorra
AS Monaco opened the 7DAYS EuroCup season with a 76-82 road win at Morabanc Andorra on Wednesday. In a game that saw several lead changes and ties, the visitors managed to rally from a double-digit deficit right before halftime and take control in the fourth quarter thanks to a 3-19 run in which Dee Bost scored 3 three-pointers. Bost led Monaco with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for a performance index rating of 23 followed by Kadheen Carrington and Darral Willis, with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Clevin Hannah tallied 14 points on 4-of-4 three-point shooting, Malick Dime scored 13 and Tyson Perez 10 in defeat.
Both teams needed some time to heat the game up as neither Andorra nor Monaco was able to find much offensive rhythm in the early going. Even though Perez and Bost traded triples to open the game, the score was stuck at 5-5 after 5 minutes. Dime and Mathias Lessort took charge on each side to put on a nice battle in the paint, but no one else joined them as the first quarter finished tied at 14-14. Oriol Pauli hit a three to spark a 9-0 run for the hosts capped by another bomb from Clevin Hannah that sent Andorra in front 27-18. Monaco reacted after a timely timeout, fueled by Willis and JJ O’Brien to make it 29-28. Andorra took the opposite path to counterattack and looked for its shooters. Sergi Garcia, Nacho Llovet and Charlon Kloof drained consecutive threes to build a double-digit margin, 38-28. Kloof repeated later, but Carrington and Bost helped Monaco reach halftime trailing 41-34.
Abdoulaye Ndoye and Willis combined inside to reduce the gap to 2 right after the break. Things got even worse for Andorra after an unsportsmanlike foul called on Jeremy Senglin allowed Monaco to convert free throws and recover the lead, 41-42. Willis and Marcos Knight extended it to 43-46 and, even though Andorra found David Jelinek and Hannah from behind the arc and Perez inside to keep scoring, the visitors managed to retain a small margin supported by Lessort and Bost to enter the last quarter ahead 58-59. Andorra’s frontcourt took over and boosted a 9-0 run capped by a triple by Hanna that got Andorra back in front, 67-61. Carrington answered immediately with 5 points in a row to stop the bleeding, followed by a free throw by Knight that tied it once again. Andorra was held scoreless for the next 3 minutes, which Bost used to give Monaco a 67-70 edge from downtown. It was just the beginning of the end, as even though Senglin and Babatunde tied it later, those were the only 3 points in a 7-minute span for the home team. The visitors took advantage of that to put up a 3-19 run, capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Bost that made it 70-80 with less than a minute remaining, good enough for Monaco to achieve its first road win.
Dee Bost showed up when it mattered most. After scoring the first 3 points of the season for his team, he had a limited impact on the game until the last quarter. He took over in the fourth to put Monaco back in charge with his second triple followed with another two bombs to cap a 3-19 run that buried Andorra.
Andorra’s shooters excelled in the second quarter as five different players combined for 6 three-pointers on just seven attempts to build a 10-point home lead. However, they went on 6-of-18 after the break. AS Monaco, instead, hit just 6 from downtown, but 4 of them came in the last quarter.
Did you know?
Morabanc Andorra and AS Monaco had met four times in the last two seasons, and the win had always remained with the home side… until this game.
Morabanc Andorra will hit the road to visit Telenet Giants Antwerp on Tuesday, October 6. AS Monaco will have its EuroCup home opener the following day against Lietkabelis Panevezys.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020