Medi Bayreuth won its home game against Basketball Lions Braunschweig on the 24th matchday in the easyCredit German Basketball League in front of Henrik Rödl, Head Coach of the German national team. Although less than 48 hours separated the Champions League playoff game against Beşiktaş Istanbul and the encounter against the club from Lower Saxony, the Heroes Of Tomorrow left no doubt as to who would leave the court victorious in front of 3,079 spectators in the Oberfrankenhalle and finally ran out deserved and commanding winners by the margin of 84:62.
The Heroes Of Tomorrow began briskly, stringing together fine passes and taking a quick 8:3 lead. Medi was also solid in defense, with the result that Braunschweig was twice unable to finish its attack within the 24 seconds in the opening minutes. Nevertheless, the visitors were able to tie the score at 8:8 after a bucket from downtown by Janavicius. Due to the heavy schedule this week, Head Coach Raoul Korner began substituting players early on, although that did not dent his team’s performance. Whereas the Lions tried to score from outside a lot, Medi increasingly attempted to penetrate the zone. In particular De’Mon Brooks, who again turned in a strong display, caused great problems for Braunschweig and had already notched up a haul of ten points by the end of the first period.
The 21:16 scoreline after ten minutes soon became 28:20 when the Heroes Of Tomorrow capitalized on several fast breaks. Braunschweig’s Head Coach Frank Menz then called his first timeout in the 14th minute. However, that did not bring much relief and, after a slam-dunk by Andreas Seiferth, Medi’s lead was ten points for the first time (32:22). The Heroes Of Tomorrow played out the first half with great focus. They did not concede a single turnover in the second quarter – and just allowed one steal in the first 20 minutes. The reward was a 42:29 lead at the break.
After Gabe York added Bayreuth’s first five points after the break, Medi let its concentration slip a little. However, that spell did not last long and, at the latest after a three by Brooks to make it 52:38, the home side was right back on track. The visitors now tried to score from below the basket, a tactic that briefly reaped success. Nevertheless, The Heroes Of Tomorrow avoided being caught by surprise and kept on stretching their lead. After being fouled while attempting a bucket from outside, Nate Linhart drained all three free throws to make it 62:47. His side also held onto that lead by the end of the quarter.
The Heroes Of Tomorrow also did not let victory slip from their grasp in the final period. Braunschweig needed two timeouts to halt a run of 11 points without reply by the Heroes Of Tomorrow, who were able to pull further away by 79:53 after a three by Wachalski. The pressure was off Bayreuth in the rest of the game and, in view of the upcoming encounter in Istanbul on Tuesday, it switched down by more than a gear, yet still won commandingly by 84:62.
This victory means Medi Bayreuth has tightened its grip on fourth place in the table again in the battle with Telekom Baskets Bonn and EWE Baskets Oldenburg, who have both played the same number of games as the Heroes Of Tomorrow, but have two fewer wins to their name.
After the encounter against Braunschweig, Bayreuth’s full focus in now back on Beşiktaş Istanbul. The team will set off for Turkey on Monday and try to exploit its five-point advantage from the first leg to produce a shock and reach the top eight of the Basketball Champions League. The tip-off in Istanbul on Tuesday evening is 8 p.m. local time (6 p.m. German time).