First-half blitz sends Reyer past Rytas
Umana Reyer Venice used a blitz of first-half three-pointers to overcome Rytas Vilnius 72-81 and improve to 3-2 in Group B. The result left the home team in trouble at 1-4 at the midway point of the regular season. Reyer shot 9 triples before the halftime interval with 4 of them coming from Jeremy Chappell to open up a commanding lead. Rytas battled back well in the third quarter, inspired by Martynas Echodas, but the home team couldn´t get closer than 5 as Reyer pulled away again in the final quarter, tying its club record with 14 triples. Chappell led the scoring for the winners with 21 points, while Julyen Stone and Mitchell Watt both added 14 points and Michael Bramos netted 11. A towering performance from Echodas led Rytas with a career-high 26 points on 11-of-17 two-point shooting, while Terrell Holloway added 15 points in defeat.
Both offenses got their inside games moving early before Chappell hit the game's first two three-pointers to make it 8-14 approaching the first quarter's midway point. Reyer continued to enjoy success from the outside through Bramos and Chappell and soon established a double-digit advantage through a quick trio of driving scores from Austin Daye. Free throws kept Rytas in touch and the start of the second quarter was highlighted by a big slam from Echodas. But Reyer kept on enjoying success from long-range with Stone and Bramos on target to make it 19-38 midway through the second. Holloway and Chappell traded triples, and Bruno Cerella joined the three-point party as Reyer stayed dominant until halftime, which arrived with the visitors leading 29-46.
Stone started the third quarter with yet another triple and Bramos soon added another. Echodas tried to keep Rytas in touch with a trio of close-range scores. A triple from Eimantas Bendzius forced Reyer into a timeout at 38-52. Inevitably, another three-pointer from Stone settled the visitors, but Echodas kept on shining and a triple from Holloway helped pull it back to 52-57. Chappell's latest long-range strike was answered by Dovis Bickauskis. Reyer finally remembered its inside game to score inside through Mitchell Watt and Chappell, finishing the third quarter up by 57-65. Watt opened the fourth quarter scoring down low, but two more scores from the unstoppable Echodas kept Rytas in touch, 63-69. Watt continued to produce inside, restoring the double-digit advantage inside the final 5 minutes and Stefano Tonut´s three-pointer ensured Reyer was comfortable in the latter stages.
Chappell makes an early mark
Jeremy Chappell was the man most responsible for putting Reyer into a comfortable position in this contest. The veteran guard broke an early tie by draining the game's first three-pointers - one from the left corner, the other from the right - midway through the first quarter and his team never looked back. Chappell wasn't alone as Reyer threw up three-point shots all night, finishing with 14-of-31 shooting from downtown, tying a club record.
Ball movement boosts Reyer
Reyer's first-half scoring spree was created by excellent ball movement, allowing the Italian team to register 15 assists before halftime. And they were spread around the team, with six different players dishing dimes during the first half.
Rytas struggles from the field
In contrast to Reyer's free-flowing offense, the home team desperately struggled to find any offensive fluency. The hosts only scored 8 field goals in the first half, with 12 of Rytas's 29 points before the break coming from the foul line. The excellent Martynas Echodas improved those stats in the second half but the damage had already been done.
Reyer stays on the road in Round 6 to take on Partizan NIS Belgrade, while Rytas will attempt to spark its qualification bid with a trip to Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019