Reyer hands Buducnost its first loss
Umana Reyer Venice took charge late to hand Buducnost VOLI Podgorica its first loss of the 7DAYS EuroCup season, 72-67, on Tuesday night at Palasport Taliercio. Mitchell Watt scored 8 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter – including three baskets after he was called for his fourth foul – to help propel Reyer to its first home win and a 2-2 record on the season. Victor Sanders contributed 11 points and tied the club record with 4 steals and Stefano Tonut added 10 points for the winners. D.J. Seeley paced the Buducnost attack with 18 points and Justin Cobbs and Edin Atic each scored 12 for Buducnost, which saw its record slip to 3-1.
Watt won the opening tip and scored the game’s first two baskets – the second a dunk courtesy of a Tonut steal and assist. Michele Vitali added a triple before Zoran Nikolic got Buducnost on the scoreboard. The lead reached 8 on a three-point play by Watt. The visitors roared back through Atic and Cobbs. A floater by Marko Jagodic-Kuridza gave Buducnost its first lead, 12-13, at the midway point in the quarter. Reyer regained control as blocks by Austin Daye, Jeff Brooks and Watt snuffed out the Buducnost offense and Tarik Phillip and Tonut boosted the margin to 18-13. Free throws by Seeley lifted Buducnost to an 18-19 lead after 10 minutes.
Seeley added 2 more free throws early in the second quarter and Cobbs drilled a three before Reyer called timeout down 6. Sanders scored 4 quick points to narrow the gap and Watt’s put-back evened things at 24-24. Jacob Wiley's first basket returned the lead to Buducnost and Atic made it 26-30. The teams traded shots for several minutes with Reyer getting within 31-32 on a triple by Tonut. Buducnost scored the last three buckets of the half to take a 33-40 lead into the break.
Buducnost committed 4 turnovers in the first 3 minutes of the second half while Sanders scored 5 points in a 7-0 run to tie the score. Cobbs snapped the stalemate with a tough layup for his team’s first score of the third quarter after 4 and a half minutes. Jagodic-Kuridza nailed a three-pointer and Wiley dunked as the lead grew to 42-49. Daye buried a three and Phillip scored in the lane in a 7-0 Reyer run that tied it. Atic banked in a three to put Buducnost ahead and Tonut made an acrobatic second-chance layup at the third-quarter buzzer to make it 51-52.
A three by Jeff Brooks tied the game at 54-54 and Watt made a jumper to give Reyer its first lead since the first quarter. Seeley drew Watt’s fourth foul and tied the game from the line, but Watt remained in the game scored on the next play. A steal and layup by Sanders made it 60-56. Seeley revived Buducnost with a three-pointer and soon made another for a 61-62 lead. Reyer struck back through second-chance buckets by Julyan Stone and Watt. A three-pointer by Brooks from the corner made it 68-62 with less than a minute remaining. Seeley responded with a clutch triple, but a basket by Stone kept Reyer ahead by two possessions and a dunk by Watt put the game on ice.
Pivotal player: Watt dominates for Reyer
Mitchell Watt had his finest game of the season for Umana Reyer Venice in leading it to victory over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. The center scored 25 points – just 2 short of his career-high – on 11-of-14 shooting. He also had 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 turnover in compiling a performance index rating of 28. Watt was Reyer's go-to scorer early with the first two baskets of the game and 9 points overall in the first quarter. He finished strong with 8 points in the fourth, including a jumper that gave Reyer its first lead since the first quarter.
By the numbers: Turnovers tell the story
Turnovers plagues Umana Reyer Venice early in Tuesday night's win. The home team committed 11 of them in the first half alone with was more than double Buducnost VOLI Podgorica's first-half count (5). The visitors led 33-40 at the break. However, with only 1 point separating the teams after three quarters, Buducnost was the team that suddenly was victimized by turnovers. The Montenegrin champs committed 4 of them in the first 3 minutes of the fourth quarter as Reyer came charging back and had 7 altogether in the final quarter while the hosts had 4. Reyer outscored Buducnost 21-15 in the fourth to take the win.
New entries made in Reyer record books
Victor Sanders’s 4 steals for Umana Reyer Venice against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on Tuesday tied the club record. He joins Ben Ortner and Mike Green, who both did so in the 2015-16 campaign, atop the club’s charts. Sanders’s effort contributed to a total of 12 steals by the team, which is tied for third-most in club history. Mitchell Watt also tied a club record, but in his case, he tied his own record. The center made 11 two-pointers, which evened his output from a November 2019 game with the club. No other Reyer player has ever made more than 9 twos in a game.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021