Rytas exits with a home win
Rytas Vilnius finished its 7DAYS EuroCup season in style by downing Galatasaray Doga Sigorta 83-75 in the Lithuanian capital in Top 16 Group G on Tuesday. Rytas, which was eliminated before this game, finished third in the group with 3-3 record while Galatasaray ranked fourth at 2-4. Dovis Bickauskis, Terrell Holloway and Evaldas Kairys led the winners with 13 points apiece. Arnas Butkevicius added 12 for Rytas. Zach Auguste led Galatasaray with 22 points, while Aaron Harrison added 18 and Yigit Arslan 14 for the guests. Cameron Bairstow stepped up for Rytas in the early going, getting help from Holloway and Kairys to give the hosts a 20-12 lead after 10 minutes. Auguste tried to change things for Galatasaray but Kairys and Deividas Sirvydis boosted Rytas's margin to 16 points, 43-27, at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Rytas kept rising as high as 65-39 behind an outstanding Bickauskis and kept full control of the game until the final buzzer.
Kairys and Bairstow got Rytas going but Harrison singlehandedly tied it at 5-5. Bairstow kept pacing Rytas with a layup and a three-pointer, giving his team a 12-6 lead. Auguste stepped up with a put-back layup and a big basket in the low post but Holloway and Marek Blazevic kept the hosts ahead, 16-10. Harrison took over with a circus shot but Kairys and Eimantas Bendzius gave Rytas a 20-12 lead after 10 minutes. Karolis Giedraitis hit a triple to make it a double-digit game, 23-12, early in the second quarter. Bickauskis added a layup-plus-free throw to cap a 10-0 Rytas run. Auguste silenced the crowd with a huge dunk but Butkevicius and Sirvydis kept the hosts fully in charge, 32-16. Emir Gokalp and Harrison tried to change things for Galatasaray and Auguste added a three-point play to keep the guests within 34-24. Kairys followed a dunk with a put-back layup and Sirvydis sank a three-pointer that restored a 43-27 Rytas margin at halftime. Gokalp scored in penetration soon after the break and Arslan struck from downtown for a 45-32 scoreboard. Holloway and Ayberk Olmaz joined the three-point shootout, then Bendzius gave Rytas a 50-35 margin. Butkevicius scored off an inbound play and followed Holloway's running jumper with a triple that broke the game open, 57-37. Bickauskis also hit twice from beyond the arc and added a floater to ignite the crowd at 65-39. Harrison and Arslan brought Galatasaray a bit closer, 67-50, after 30 minutes. Caner Erdeniz buried a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter, Ege Arar scored down low and Auguste added a dunk-and-one to bring Galatasaray within single digits, 67-58. The guests managed to get as close as 75-69 with 2 minutes left but Holloway rescued Rytas with a mid-range jumper and Butkevicius struck from downtown to seal the outcome.
Kairys did a little bit of everything to make sure Rytas got its final win of this EuroCup season. He finished the game with 13 points, 7 rebounds, a career-high 4 steals and 2 blocks for a team-high PIR of 20. With Martynas Echodas still sidelined, Kairys made the most out of his playing time.
Karolis Giedraitis struck from downtown and Bickauskis added a three-point play in a 10-0 run that bridged the opening two quarters. That allowed Rytas to get a 26-12 margin and the hosts kept pushing until the final buzzer.
First-half intensity made the difference. Rytas outrebounded Galatasaray by 20-15 and forced the guests into 10 turnovers. Rytas hit 14-of-22 two-point shots (63.6%) and limited Galatasaray to just 8-of-21 (38.1%). As a result, Rytas's team PIR was 63 before halftime and Galatasaray's just 14.
Did you know?
With this result, AS Monaco has mathematically qualified to the playoffs from this group. That makes its home game tomorrow against UNICS Kazan a do-or-die showdown. The winner will rank first in Top 16 Group G and the loser will be second, facing Partizan NIS Belgrade in the upcoming best-of-three quarterfinal playoffs.
Rytas and Galatasaray have finished its 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup season. Rytas did it with a 7-9 record, and managed to beat two former EuroCup champions, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, two times each. Galatasaray was 8-8 in the EuroCup this season, but lost four of its last five games.
Tuesday, March 3, 2020