|Demonte Harper scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter|
Tsmoki Minsk torched Team TEHO Sport Kotka as they romped to a 104-73 victory in Group L of the EuroChallenge.
Minsk put one foot in the quarter-finals as they poured in 38 points in the first quarter alone and just kept going, shooting 41-of-71 (57.7%) from the field on the night.
Demonte Harper scored 20 points to lead five Minsk players scoring in double figures, and they dominated in every department, out-rebounding the visitors 41-21.
It was never really a contest, with Dzianis Korshuk putting Minsk up 19-6 midway through a first quarter which finished with a Aliaksei Lashkevich lay-up that made it 38-15.
They led 60-40 at half-time and continued to pour it on even as coach Donaldas Kairys brought in his bench players.
Bright spots were in short supply for Kotka, but Sharaud Curry - the EuroChallenge's leading scorer - managed 15 points of 7-of-10 shooting from the field while also dishing out eight assists and grabbing four rebounds.
Keith Benson Jr had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Minsk, while Vitali Liutych added 14 points, Branko Mirkovic 13 and Tyrone Brazelton 10.
It is a second consecutive big win for Minsk against Kotka after they won the reverse fixture 100-64.
Kotka Head Coach Sami Toiviainen
"We lost the game in the opening 10 minutes. I can't explain the exact reasons, but I'm sure we weren't as bad as the score showed. Also all the corrections we made after the first half brought a very positive effect. The problem was that Minsk had superiority in all components of the game, because they are a much better team. So we couldn't cope with them."
Kotka Player Michael Pounds
"We didn't perform defensively as well as we should. Minsk showed mental toughness and broke our self-confidence. They played very aggressive all 40 minutes. And we weren't ready for this despite watching films and reading scouting reports."
Tsmoki Minsk Head Coach Donaldas Kairys
"We lost a lot of games last month. That's why we were well motivated: during the last trainings the guys looked in a very good shape and wanted to go back to the court again to win. So we played professionally and with high concentration. We protected the three-point line as planned, because we knew about the good shooters from KTP. Also the aim was to control the rebound and get the energy from it in attacks."
Tsmoki Minsk Player Vitali Liutych
"We prepared ourselves well mentally. That made the effect in the beginning of the game, when we defended well, moved the ball inside and outside quickly. It helped a lot when Demonte Harper shot all the threes he should make. So we controlled the tempo and defended aggressively in order not to let the win slip out of our hands."