Monaco uses big third quarter to blow Lietkabelis out
AS Monaco used a big third quarter to race away from Lietkabelis Panevezys for an 82-57 home win. Dee Bost led the way for Monaco with 25 points and was a major factor in a 17-0 close to the third quarter. The hosts, who took the third quarter 35-8, also got 16 points from Marcos Knight while Darral Willis had 14 points and Mathias Lessort chipped in 11 points and 9 rebounds. The runaway victory improved Monaco's record in Group C to 2-0. Lietkabelis trailed by just 1 point at the break, but dropped to 0-2. Gytis Masiulis led the visiting attack with 13 points, Margiris Normantas added 11 and Paulius Valinskas scored 10 in defeat.
Willis's three-pointer opened the scoring for the hosts before Knight gave Monaco a 7-0 lead. Lietkabelis committed 4 turnovers in the first 3 minutes until back-to-back threes by Valinskas trimmed the gap to 9-8. Willis knocked down another triple for a 14-8 lead. Kyle Vinales tallied 7 straight points to knot the contest at 15-15 and it was 17-17 after 10 minutes. Normantas pushed Lietkabelis ahead for the first time with the opening score of the second quarter. The lead went back and forth with Jokubas Gintvainis hitting a three-pointer and Willis converting an and-one. A Masiulis three-point play and a Troy Barnies triple left Lietkabelis up 28-30. The back-and-forth continued with a Bost three-pointer and 4 straight points from Masiulis before Monaco went into the break up 35-34.
Monaco used the three-point shot to pull away early in the second half with Bost hitting 3 free throws and 2 triples and J.J. O’Brien also connected from long range in opening a 49-36 advantage. Masiulis sank 2 three-pointers to pull within 53-42. But Knight and Bost both hit triples in reeling off a 17-0 run over the final 5 minutes of the third quarter and led 70-42 after 30 minutes. Normantas ended the drought with a free throw to start the fourth quarter scoring and he added a three-point play to make it 72-46. Bost pushed the gap to 30 points (76-46) and Lietkabelis did not get closer than 26 the rest of the way.
Back-to-back career highs
Dee Bost's 25 points set a career-high for the 30-year-old. The performance comes a week after he set his previous career-best of 21 points in Round 1 against MoraBanc.
More offensive problems for Lietkabelis
The Lithuanian club struggled once again offensively. Coach Nenad Canak’s team managed only 61 points in Round 1 - the only team in the EuroCup to not tally at least 70 points. And Lietkabelis didn't even reach that against Monaco.
Monaco forced Lietkabelis into 21 turnovers while committing only 7 itself. The visitors also were held to just 41.9% on two-point shooting while Monaco shot 52.3% from inside the three-point line.
Monaco will remain at home for its next EuroCup game as it welcomes Telenet Giants Antwerp on October 14 looking for a third straight win. Lietkabelis will head back home and welcome Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on October 14 in search of its first victory in Group C.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020