Partizan wins big over Limoges
Partizan NIS Belgrade took momentum heading into the Top 16 by finishing off the regular season with a 77-58 victory over visiting Limoges CSP on Wednesday in Group B. Neither team could change its standing in the final game of the group, so Partizan stayed in second place and finished 7-3, while Limoges finished last in Group B at 2-8. Nikola Jankovic led Partizan's scorers with 14 points while Ognjen Jaramaz and Nemanja Gordic had 11 each and Stefan Birkevic 10. Limoges got 15 points from Marcus Ginyard and 11 each from Nicolas Lang and Jerry Boutsiele. Partizan trailed 2-5 early but after that built leads as high as 20 points the rest of the way.
Anthony Brown, from deep, put Limoges up 2-5 before a dunk by Novic Velickovic highlighted a 7-0 Partizan takeover run. Uros Trifunovic's three-pointer helped make it 14-8, although Limoges was able to cut the difference to 16-14 after 10 minutes. Gordic's three-point play and Jankovic's layup capped an 10-1 run to open the second quarter with Partizan going up 26-15. Brown broke the spell for Limoges and Lang soon joined him to make it 28-19. Velickovic ruled inside to keep Partizan ahead 34-23 as the hosts were content to exchange baskets. Jaramaz hit from deep for the hosts before Benoit Mbala, Brown and Ginyard came together in a 0-6 run to cut the difference to 40-34 at halftime. The offenses stalled after the break, but soon Jaramaz scored for a double-digit lead at 44-34. Lang lifted Limoges with a pair of triples before Gordic answered with 2 of his own and William Mosley scored his first basket to make it 54-40, which is how the third quarter ended. Bircevic's 5 points early in the final quarter extended the difference to 59-42. Limoges finally uncorked its offense as Ginyard's back-to-back three-pointers suddenly trimmed the deficit to 63-51 with under 6 minutes left. Jankovic stopped the threat with a three-point play, but Ginyard and Ludovic Beyhurst kept bombing to keep the guests within 70-57. Mosley detonated a dunk and Jaramaz returned with a triple to make sure for Partizan and put its fans' thoughts forward to the Top 16.
Did you know?
It was Partizan's first home win in two tries against Limoges in EuroCup play, avenging a 98-101 regular season loss in Belgrade almost exactly two years ago, on December 19, 2017. Partizan finished 7-3, three victories better than its previous best regular season mark in the EuroCup, 4-6 last season.
A pair of three-pointers from Nicolas Lang were all that Limoges could manage to score against Partizan's fearsome defense during the first 11 minutes after halftime. Teenager Badr Moujib ended the spell with his first EuroLeague points ever from the free throw line for the visitors, but Partizan's 16-6 balance over that stretch was the difference in the game
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Partizan was playing without two starters: point guard Torrian Walden and top scorer Rashawn Thomas, who averages 13 points per game, but still reached its scoring average of 77.0 points per game thanks to 21-for-38 two-point shooting and 11-for-13 accuracy on free throws.
Limoges missed the Top 16 for the first time in its five EuroCup seasons. Partizan advanced to Group E of the next round, along with Segafredo Virtus Bologna, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul and Dolomiti Energia Trento. Top 16 play begins on January 8.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019