Broekhoff catches fire as Lokomotiv's streak continues
Ryan Broekhoff caught fire from downtown as he help propel Lokomotiv Kuban to a big win to open the EuroCup Top 16, in doing so maintaining their unbeaten run in the competition.
After progressing to the Top 16 of EuroCup undefeated, Lokomotiv Kuban travelled to Montenegro to take on Buducnost Podgorica. For the first half of the game, Lokomotiv looked like they may drop their first game of the competition. They started slowly, trailing 9-2 early before Broekhoff and Joe Ragland kick-started the visitors into action with some three-point bombs. Despite a second trey from Broekhoff, Lokomotiv's offense was spluttering, finding themselves behind 37-24 at half time.
However two straight triples by Broekhoff in the third term saw Lokomotiv pull to within striking distance. Lokomotiv were starting to roll and lifted a gear, outscoring the home side 26-9 in the third quarter. They would withstand Buducnost's final challenges down the stretch to register an important 62-68 road win [video highlights].
Broekhoff was on fire from beyond the arc. The dynamic 6'7 wing scorched the net by draining 5-7 from distance for a game-high 15 points, while also pulling down 10 rebounds for a big double-double. He was efficient and effective, and maintained his outstanding form from the EuroCup regular season.
It was not the start that Lietuvos Rytas were hoping for when they hosted Zenit St Petersburg in their EuroCup Top 16 opener. it was a close and thrilling encounter that saw the visitors snatch a 96-98 road win thanks to a new career high from Kyle Kuric (30 points). Loukas Mavrokefalides (22 points) and Travis Peterson (19 points) led the way for Rytas, helping the home side pull away to a 33-21 first half lead. However the visitors clawed their way back into the contest, going on a 0-9 run to take the lead before Ben Madgen's score halted the run, but with Zenit up by 6 at the main break.
Zenit maintained control for much of the second half before Lokomotiv's Peterson leveled the scores at 86-all with just 3 minutes to play. Zenit steadied, but Rytas would have a last chance to steal the win. However a turnover with 9 seconds to play meant the potential game-winner never happened, with the visitors leaving Vilnius with a 2 point win [video highlights].
Having played outstanding basketball since returning from injury, Madgen had a quiet outing. The combative guard added just 2 points with 1 assist and 1 steal in 15 minutes. He will be looking to bounce back, as will Rytas, in their next match-up against Bayern Munich.