Madgen's offensive spark not enough in EuroCup
|Aaron Senghera||Feb 6, 2017|
Ben Madgen was on fire for Lietkabelis in a tough EuroCup loss, while Brock Motum was again solid in yet another EuroLeague upset win.
Žalgiris Kaunas made it two wins in a row over some tough EuroLeague competition. Last outing Žalgiris beat the reigning champions CSKA Moscow, but this time they did it again in beating Spanish superpower FC Barcelona Lassa.
In what was a game that came down to the wire, Žalgiris beat Barcelona thanks to their excellent play when it counted most. They outscored the Spaniards 28-24 in the fourth quarter, and that allowed them to pull away ahead with the win 89-85.
Brock Motum pitched in 8 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. He also showed off his shooting touch draining two shots from deep, but it was ultimately his defense that allowed him to earn playing time. Motum wasn’t able to get a lot of scoring opportunities, so instead he focused his attention more on the defensive end of the court. Žalgiris coach Sarunas Jasikevicius liked what he saw from Motum so much so that he had him finish the game because of the presence he brought on that end of the floor.
With the important victory, Žalgiris now sits a game behind Anadolu Efes for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Lietkabelis Panevezys fell short to Russian club Khimki Moscow in their last outing, and defense played a huge part in allowing Khimki to come away victors. The Lithuanian side just didn’t do a good job containing EuroCup stars Alexey Shved and Robbie Hummel, and because of that Lietkabelis fell short in their comeback in going down 77-89.
Shved went off for 23 points and eight assists, while shooting a stellar 9/14 (64.3%) from the field and 4/7 from deep, and Hummel pitched in 20 points himself while shooting 3/5 from three-point territory. The play of those two kept Khimki’s offense playing at a high level all game, and Lietkabelis just had no answer to containing them.
Despite falling short as a team, Ben Madgen was on fire in this game. The Aussie guard torched Khimki Moscow’s defense all night, scoring 23 points on an efficient 9/16 shooting from the field. He also drained three shots from behind the arc and hauled in 6 rebounds and dished out 3 assists in 34 minutes of action. Even with the loss, Madgen has continued getting into double-digit scoring totals in all five of his games in the EuroCup Top 16.
Lokomotiv Kuban took on Herbalife Gran Canaria in what was a game that ultimately came down to the final seconds of play in order to crown a victor. After going into halftime up 43-37, Lokomotiv Kuban came out with a lackadaisical energy in the second half of play. Gran Canaria dominated them in the third quarter, shutting Lokomotiv out 19-7 in the period. However the Russian side fought back with a strong final quarter of play, but by then it was already to late as they just ran out of time. Gran Canaria was able to come away with the two-point win, with the final score 68-66.
Ryan Broekhoff wasn’t able to hit the go ahead basket in the closing seconds to give Lokomotiv the lead, but he did play with the trademark energy and intensity that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him. This time he was able to do it while showing off his smooth jump-shot. In just 21 minutes of playing time, Broekhoff hit two three-pointers on his way to scoring 10 points on the night.