Ragland rallies Lokomotiv to overtime win in Vilnius
In a battle of former EuroCup champions that went into overtime, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar remained undefeated with 85-93 road win over Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in the Round 3 opener on Tuesday. Lokomotiv improved to 3-0 and remains in first place in Group C, while Rytas suffered its second loss in as many home games in the young 7DAYS EuroCup season to drop to 1-2 record. The hosts had an 11-point lead in the third quarter, but Joe Ragland fueled the Lokomotiv rally and put the visitors in front. The hosts hit 3 triples in the final two minutes of regulation to send the game into an extra five minutes, but Lokomotiv scored the final 8 points of the contest to pull out a victory. The visitors had six scorers in double figures, with Ragland scoring 21 points and dishing 9 assists. Frank Elegar collected 17 points plus 10 rebounds, and Mardy Collins had his usual all-round contribution with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Brian Qvale added 12 points, Chris Babb 11, and Ryan Broekhoff 10 in victory. Loukas Mavrokefalidis paced Rytas with 22 points and 7 rebounds, Rokas Giedraitis netted 19 points, and Mindaugas Lukauskis had 11 in defeat.
Lokomotiv scored the first 5 points of the game, but Rytas countered and took a 9-5 lead with a run that included a triple from Lukauskis. The visitors stopped the bleeding, and the teams traded leads as Pavel Antipov and Giedraitis traded three-pointers. A three-point play from Elegar tied the score at 16-16, but a tough basket-plus-foul from Giedraitis helped Rytas end the first quarter up 21-18. Lukauskis hit a floater and a triple in the first 39 seconds of the second quarter to open a 26-18 margin, but Lokomotiv did not need much time to catch up as Broekhoff and Qvale combined to score 9 points and cut the deficit to 30-29. A transition triple from Travis Peterson kept the hosts in front, but Elegar and Qvale each rejected a shot, which led to a pair of fastbreak baskets, before a two put-back baskets helped Lokomotiv to a 37-39 advantage and the teams went into halftime all even at 43-43.
The hosts started pulling away early in the third quarter. Robert Carter started things with a triple from left corner, and Giedraitis soon added one from the right corner. Close-range baskets from Jimmy Baron and a three-point play from Robert Carter opened a 58-47 lead. After a timeout, however, Lokomotiv was sturck right back, with Ragland stringing together 6 points and then adding a triple that capped a 0-11 run and tied things up once again. After 30 minutes the visitors led 64-61, but Lokomotiv used a better start to the fourth, and a layup from Collins to go in front 64-65. The teams traded close-range baskets, before a triple from Babb made it 68-72 midway through the fourth. Rytas replied through Giedraitis and Mavrokefalidis, but Collins nailed a three-pointer and a long jumper to make it 72-77. Giedraitis hit a triple that kept Rytas close, and after Elegar tipped in a lob pass from Ragland in the final minute, Mavrokefalidis hit from behind the arc to make it 78-79 with 21 seconds remaining in regulation. Babb made a pair of free throws, before a step-back three-pointer from Giedraitis with 11 seconds to go in regulation sent the game to overtime, 81-81. In the extra session, Lokomotiv grabbed a slim lead right away and then used baskets from Elegar, Collins and Ragland to take an 85-89 lead with 75 seconds to go. After another defensive stand, Collins connected with Elegar for another close-range basket, and the visitors prevailed to stay undefeated.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017