BC Wolves rout BC Rytas in Vilnius face-off, extends Betsafe-LKL win streak
BC Wolves rout BC Rytas in Vilnius face-off, extends Betsafe-LKL win streak

One of the most highly anticipated Lithuanian Basketball League games of the season finally took place last Saturday evening - the capital city derby.

The BC wolves (10-1) took home its sixth consecutive victory in the Betsafe-LKL championship after a convincing win against host team BC Rytas (9-2) with the final score of 74:84 (19:18, 16:21, 22:10, 17:25).

Scoring from Kristupas Žemaitis and Tre'Shawn Thurman pulled the Wolves ahead early on but after a quick timeout, Rytas was able to tie the game - 9:9. Although the host team tried to extend the lead, Christian Mekowulu trimmed down the deficit to just a point (13:14), and after the first quarter, the Wolves trailed 18:19.

The see-saw battle continued until Arnas Beručka hit back-to-back three-pointers and Christian Mekowulu scored after an offensive rebound to make the lead 34:28. The BC Wolves led by halftime, 39:35.

In the second half, Wolves big man Djordje Gagić was called for an offensive foul and later on a technical foul after getting tied up with Rytas' Lukas Uleckas.

Robert Cole and Javin DeLaurier's efforts allowed Rytas to grab the lead (53:51), and after a made free-throw from T.Thurman, Arnas Velička made two of his own - 55:52. Kristupas Žemaitis then equalized the score with a three-pointer, and later zipped an assist to Vitalijus Kozys for his own long-distance bomb. After three quarters, the BC Wolves kept a slim margin - 59:57.

K. Žemaitis and A. Beručka, who played magnificently, powered the BC Wolves' offense - the team then eventually saw a double-digit advantage after Vaidas Kariniauskas' lay-up, 74:63. G. Žibėnas had to ask for a timeout for Rytas, but it bore little fruit. The Wolves were unfazed and kept the pressure on (76:67), although Margiris Normantas tried to rally his team - 69:76. T.Thurman steadied the ship with his own scoring (80:69), and afterwards the Rytas captain made a last-ditch effort to keep the game close, 74:80.

With 73 seconds left, J. Gorham was called for a foul and after complaining, G. Žibėnas and the Rytas import were both called for technical fouls. The Wolves then clinched the victory via free throws and put the game away for good.

A. Beručka played his most productive game of the season and scored 20 points in 27 minutes, hitting 6 of 7 three-pointers.

BC Wolves: Arnas Beručka 20 (6/7 three-pointers), Tre'shawn Thurman 13 (8 rebounds), Kristupas Žemaitis 11, Christian Mekowulu 10 (7 rebounds), Eigirdas Žukauskas 9, Vaidas Kariniauskas 8 , Vitalijus Kozys 6, Djordje Gagič 4, Adas Juškevičius 3. Regimantas Miniotas played but went scoreless. 

Rytas: RJ Cole 16, Jarvin DeLaurier 12, Gytis Radzevičius and Arnas Velička - 11 each.