|Courdon Higgins assured Triumph Lyubertsy remained perfect with 19 points.|
Triumph Lyubertsy booked their ticket to the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge with an 80-70 victory at Körmend to remain perfect at 4-0 in Group D.
Courdon Higgins led Triumph with 19 points while Dmitry Kulagin scored 15 points and Kyle Landry collected 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Körmend dropped to 1-3 despite Zarko Rakocevic scoring 20 points. Rolland Török added 14 points and Muhammad El-Amin had 12 points in the loss.
With the guests leading 12-9, Higgins and Kulagin combined for 10 points in a 12-0 Lyubertsy run to open a 15-point lead 24-9. The cushion was 26-14 after one quarter.
Körmend were able to close the gap to eight points in the second quarter - 32-24 - but Lyubertsy were up 42-30 at intermission.
The hosts trimmed the deficit to nine points but Triumph used a 7-0 surge to take a game-high 16-point advantage, 53-37. After closing the gap to 10 points, Körmend trailed 65-53 after three quarters.
Gergely Kutasi's triple trimmed the margin to nine points and it was only an eight-point game 76-68 with 1:23 left to play. But Körmend turned the ball over on their next two possessions.
Vasiliy Karasev, Triumph head coach:
"It was a very important game for us since we are already in the next round with this win. We started the game very well. We were able to build up a 10-point lead with our aggressive defense. Once our advantage increased we relaxed a little and we did not fight as [we did] in the beginning. Körmend also improved but we were able to keep our distance from them."
Tamás Hencsey, Körmend head coach:
"Congratulations to the winners. We started the game with a very bad rhythm. The difference between the two teams was created in the beginning and it stayed on the same level until the end. We had 21 turnovers tonight, a fact that gives me a headache. The opponent was able to make quick and easy points from those turnovers. In the second half we were able to to follow the Russian team in defense and also in offense but we were not able to get closer to them."
Jeremy Chappel, Triumph:
"Körmend is a very good team. We achieve this result thanks to some very good teamwork. We built up our 10 points lead with a good start but then we had some problems, mainly in the defense. We need to focus on that and we need to correct them in the future. I am very happy that we are qualified for the next round."
Török Rolland, Körmend:
"Congrats to the Russian team. They are very good. We started the first half very sleepy. We had no medicine for their attacking defense. In the second half we changed, we played more aggressive and we were on the same level as the other team. But we have to learn from our mistakes."