Tofas takes charge late to rattle Rytas
Rytas Vilnius turned the ball over too many times and Tofas Bursa took full advantage of its opponent’s sloppiness to score a 91-81 on Wednesday night in Turkey. The win lifted Tofas's record to 2-2 with Rytas reeling at 1-3 after the defeat. It looked like the game was set for a tense finish, but Rytas mistakes gave the home side a chance to take advantage and Tofas created an unassailable lead in the fourth and made it look comfortable despite those tense opening three quarters. For the victors, Devin Williams scored 19 with 10 rebounds and Muhsin Yasar netted 14 off the bench. Muhaymin Mustafa added 11 points and Baris Ermis 10. Terrell Holloway scored 20 points in the losing effort, Pako Cruz tallied 17 and Cameron Bairstow 11.
It was an exciting start with Rytas taking a 9-13 lead midway through the opening 10. A couple of threes from Berkan Durmaz left it 15-13 as Tofas took its first lead of the night. Tofas was on point from beyond the arc and Matt Lojeski landed another to leave the score 19-18. They turned that into 22-21 at the end of the quarter as Dovis Bickauskis landed a buzzer-beating three to keep Rytas in touching distance. Martynas Echodas gave Rytas its lead back at the start of the second at 24-25. It was all square at 27-27 midway through the quarter. Lojeski hit another three, but neither side could build a decent lead. Tofas led 44-40 with 2 minutes to play in the half and extended that to 51-45. Rytas clawed its way back to finish the half at 51-47. Pako Cruz scored 5 in a row to give Rytas back the lead at 51-52. There was more lead-swapping going on in the third between two evenly matched sides. Arnas Butkevicius gave Rytas a 58-62 lead as it looked to carve out a lead, but couldn’t shake free of Tofas, which kept battling. Tofas clawed its way back into a lead at the end of that third at 67-62. Rytas scored for the first time in almost 5 minutes at the start of the fourth and got back to 67-65. But Tofas soared to 73-65 after a fast break finish from Tarik Phillip. The home side blew it wide open and took a 77-65 lead and didn’t stop there. Tofas won 91-81 in the end after that blitz in the fourth in a game where turnovers were key.
Devin Williams was the player of the night with 16 points and 10 rebound, which matches his highest total in a EuroCup game. He had competition from Muhsin Yasar, who scored 14 of the bench on 7-of-7 shooting. That was the highest-scoring night of his EuroCup career.
Stat of the night
Tofas had 14 steals during the game. That’s the club's highest-ever total. Its 31 assists were also the team's best in the EuroCup.
Did you notice?
Rytas could not protect the ball and turned it over 17 times on Wednesday night. Aside from coughing the ball up so easily and so often, Tofas capitalized to compound the problem. The hosts scored 31 points of their total from turnovers.
Rytas returns to action next Tuesday when it welcomes Umana Reyer Venice. Tofas travels to play Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on Wednesday night.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019