medi bayreuth’s start to its seventh season in the German top flight was not for the faint-hearted. 40 exciting minutes were not enough for it or last year’s runners-up ratiopharm Ulm to decide the game. Five minutes of overtime were needed and it was ultimately the visitors from the city by the Danube that ran out victors. In a tight encounter that finished 87:95 (42:38; 81:81), each team had an outstanding scorer in its ranks: In front of a crowd of 2,630, Trey Lewis was in resplendent form for Bayreuth, bagging 30 points in his German league debut, while Chris Babb notched up a haul of 27 points for Ulm.
The game got off to an ideal start for Head Coach Raoul Korner and his team, with Trey Lewis standing out in particular. The American chalked up eight of the first ten points (10:4 in the 3rd minute) and was almost unstoppable for Ulm’s defense after that. The home side put a double-digit lead on the board after just five minutes when Andreas Seiferth made it 17:7. Bayreuth kept the screws on and was able to record its highest lead when Seiferth buried two free throws (21:9 in the 7th minute). It was mainly thanks to Chris Babb and his two important threes that Ulm “only” trailed by 23:15 after the first period.
Bayreuth quickly restored a double-digit lead in the second quarter when Robin Amaize made an and one (28:17 in the 12th minute). After that, buckets from outside were vital in enabling Ulm to keep in touch. Raymar Morgan and Da’Sean Butler reduced the deficit to 29:35. The visitors then had their best spell in the first half and came closer and closer. A three-point play by Chris Babb made it 36:37 in the 20th minute, but De’Mon Brooks struck back with a bucket and bonus free throw. The last action in the first half was from Trey Lewis, whose free throws made it 42:38.
When the visitors from Ulm came out for the second half, they endeavored to cut the gap further. And they managed to do that – once again by buckets from beyond the arc. Da’Sean Butler scored in the 24th minute (47:49) and shortly after that Ulm snatched the lead for the first time. After a dubious unsporting foul by Nate Linhart, Karsten Tadda buried two free throws (51:52), after which Taylor Braun drained a three to make it 54:52 in the 26th minute. The momentum was now on ratiopharm Ulm’s side and it was able to pull away to 62:55 through Chris Babb in the 30th minute. Robin Amaize then made it 57:62 with a difficult buzzer beater.
The new signing liberated up extra energy with that action. Andreas Seiferth tied the scores in the 32nd minute (62:62) and medi was right back in the game. Raoul Korner’s team gave the right reply to each of Ulm’s actions. The reward was that it went back into the lead when Nate Linhart drained a bucket from outside (70:68 in the 34th minute). Both teams were equally matched in the following minutes. The last action in regular time was from medi, but after the referees did not call a foul against Ulm when Trey Lewis drove vigorously to the basket, the game was tied after 40 minutes. The two teams thus went into overtime with the score at 81:81.
The Heroes Of Tomorrow were still a match for Ulm up to the three-pointer by Steve Wachalski (85:85 in the 33rd minute). However, the visitors then decided the game in their favor. Per Günther played a crucial part in that with five straight points. Ulm managed to hold on to this narrow lead and so take its first points of the season back home from the Oberfrankenhalle.