s.Oliver Würzburg has come away with a win from the Arena am Ischeland for the first time at its fifth attempt: After a successful comeback in the second half, the team of Head Coach Doug Spradley defeated bottom-of-the-table Phoenix Hagen by 99:89 (34:47) on the 7th matchday in the German Basketball League. The duel between the playmakers was also won by the club from Lower Franconia: Jake Odum was the game’s top scorer with 34 points, while Hagen’s David Bell bagged 31.
The encounter was almost a carbon copy of Baskets’ home game against Frankfurt a week ago. In the Arena am Ischeland, Würzburg likewise trailed by a double-digit margin after the first half and turned the game around after the break thanks to a strong performance. The home side was brimming with confidence at the start and forced Doug Spradley to call his first timeout after less than three minutes with the score at 9:1. From the 6th minute on, by when Hagen was 14:3 ahead, the visitors got into the game better. The home side’s good 3-point field goal percentage before the break ensured that Würzburg was not able to reduce the deficit – it was only at the end of the first and start of the second period that the visitors were able to get back in contention with a run of 8 points without reply (24:19). However, no more was possible before the break – Hagen was even able to surge ahead by 47:29 by the 18th minute thanks to three buckets from downtown in a row. Würzburg’s second comeback in the space of a week began before the break this time: Five points in succession made the score 47:34 at half-time.
After the break, it was in particular Lamonte Ulmer (24 points in the second half) and Jake Odum (19) who were no longer able to be stopped by the home side. Whereas hardly anything came off for Hagen in the first eight minutes of the third period, apart from two buckets from outside by Chris Hass, the visitors turned the game around thanks to far greater intensity in defense and many strong actions in attack. Jake Odum buried two free throws in the 28th minute (56:57) and Maurice Stuckey followed that up with a three, as s.Oliver Würzburg produced a 12:0 run to take the lead for the first time in the encounter. At the end of the third period, Lamonte Ulmer conjured up the evening’s most spectacular scene: After an attempted three by James Southerland, he snapped up the ball and, with a mighty putback dunk and a lot of hang time, slammed the ball into Hagen’s basket to make it 61:66.
Yet the game was far from being decided. After Würzburg led by nine points in the 31st minute (61:70), Phoenix Hagen managed to equalize within just over two minutes (70:70). And with just under three minutes remaining, the game was still up for grabs with the score at 81:82. Then the game’s crucial scenes ensued: First Lamonte Ulmer produced a block to prevent Trent Plaisted from giving Hagen the lead, then Maurice Stuckey with a lay-up and Jake Odum from the foul line made it 81:86.
Two minutes before the final buzzer, it was again Ulmer who snapped up a Hagen pass and finished the fast break with his next slam dunk (81:88). Shortly afterwards, Brendan Lane extended the lead to 81:90. That sealed the game, even though David Bell reduced the margin to 83:90 with a lay-up. In the final minute, Würzburg added nine and the home side six points – all of them from the foul line.