Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar punched its Top 16 ticket on Wednesday night as it remained undefeated thanks to an 81-55 home win over Limoges CSP. The win lifted Loko to a 6-0 in Group C, while Limoges dropped to 2-4. Trevor Lacey and Ryan Broekhoff paced the winners with 12 points apiece, Dmitry Kulagin added 11 and Frank Elegar had 10. For Limoges, Dru Joyce led the way with 14 points, 12 of them in the first quarter with threes, and Kenny Hayes added 10.
The game started with a rain of threes on both sides. Loko quickly climbed to a 9-3 lead, but threes by Joyce made it 9-9. Pavel Antipov and Mardy Collins launched Loko again, but Joyce hit his fourth three to tie the score, 14-14. Defenses regrouped in the second half of the period and the offenses didn’t flow as well, so it was 19-16 after 10 minutes. The hosts kept attacking Limoges’s basket with layups and Broekhoff added a three to make it 30-20. Axel Bouteille was now keeping the guests alive, but Lokomotiv seemed to be having an easier time on offense, 34-22. Turnovers started to become a problem for Limoges, and that was used by the hosts for a 14-3 run to make it 44-25 at the break.
Loko played with patience in the third quarter and Broekhoff and Lacey shined on offense to maintain the lead always around 20 points for the hosts. Josh Carter hit a three from the corner to keep Limoges in the mix, and free throws by Hayes made it 60-44 after 30 minutes. An 8-2 start to the last quarter by Loko in the first five minutes made things very difficult for Limoges. The visitors had problems, especially on offense, and a three by Stanislav Ilnitskiy for 72-46 only sealed the outcome of the game and the regular season for Loko, the first team to punch a Top 16 ticket.