After taking down EWE Baskets Oldenburg 71-69, Rytas Vilnius have ensured that their season will continue past group play, as they have at least clinched a spot in the Play-In Round.
Rytas can still win Group H, which would then book their spot in the Round of 16.
Turning point: Rytas got out to their biggest lead of 12 points a few minutes into the third quarter, but Oldenburg didn’t let the game get away from them, as they got to within two points in the quarter.
Oldenburg continued to trail in the fourth quarter but kept the game within single digits for the most part.
Then with less than one minute left, things got crazy, as Oldenburg stole the ball twice and turned those two turnovers into baskets, extending their scoring run to 8-0 and cutting their deficit to 69-70.
Rytas’ Vaidas Kariniauskas made 1-of-2 free-throws and left the door open for Oldenburg, but Cameron Clark missed a potential game-winning three at the buzzer.
Game heroes: Gytis Radzevicius double-doubled with 13 points, ten rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Radzevicius shot 5-of-9 from the field and finished with a game-high efficiency rating of 23.
Stats don’t lie: Oldenburg only grabbed one more offensive rebound than Rytas (13-12), but they outscored Rytas 17-8 in second-chance points.
Rytas held a slight advantage in total rebounds (36-33) and a 16-10 edge in assists.
Rytas got more opportunities from the free-throw line, shooting 16-of-21, while Oldenburg only shot 5-of-9.
The two teams struggled from three-point, only combining for seven made threes (Rytas 5, Oldenburg 2), and Kariniauskas knocked down three of them for Rytas.
Bottom line: Tai Odiase led the way for Oldenburg with 19 points and six rebounds, while Phil Pressey finished with 10 points and six steals, including the two key steals down the stretch.
Rytas are now 3-2 and sit in first place for now (due to the extra participation point) in Group H until Hereda San Pablo Burgos plays their game tomorrow.
The Lithuanian club will travel to face Hereda San Pablo Burgos in their last group play game on December 21, determining the group winner.
Oldenburg is now 1-4 and sits in fourth place.
The German club will travel to face Besiktas Icrypex in their last group play game on December 21.
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