Vytautas survive against Jekabpils

PRIENAI – Despite losing the first three quarters, Vytautas managed to keep their unbeaten record intact after a fourth-quarter comeback saw them take an 83-81 victory against the visiting Jekabpils in Lithuania on Wednesday. 


Although the Lithuanian side, now 10-0, had already guaranteed first place in Group B, avoiding a loss in the late stages of the regular season is a good sign for the team’s confidence. Meanwhile, Jekabpils dropped to a 5-5 mark.

Only two points separated the sides after the first period, with the visitors holding a slight edge. They had increased the gap to as many as seven points in the second period, but eventually finished the half up only 44-41.

Led by Tyler Larson, Jekapbils remained in front in the third quarter, but Vytautas were breathing down their necks the entire time. The guests were closer to getting the win heading into the final quarter, with the scoreboard showing 66-60 in their favor.

However, the experienced Vytautas squad mounted a comeback in the fourth period and took the lead at 71-69 with six minutes remaining in the game after a made shot by Vaidas Cepukaitis.

Although the game could have gone either way, it was the hosts who looked betted down the stretch, as they avoided the upset in front of the home crowd.

Laimonas Kisielius had a team-high 22 points and 17 rebounds for Vytautas, Sarunas Vasiliauskas scored 20 points, while Vilmantas Dilys collected 16 points for the winners.

Meanwhile, Tyler Larson scored 31 points for Jekabpils after going 7-of-11 from three-point range. Modestas Kumpys scored 17 points for the Latvian side. Quite interestingly, these two players also accounted for all 13 of 15 turnovers by the team.