The around 60 fans of medi bayreuth who had made the journey could only look in disbelief at the scoreboard in the Sparkassen Arena in Göttingen. After three periods, it showed the visitors with a seemingly comfortable 79:65 cushion, but in the end it was BG Göttingen that snatched an 88:85 victory. After a true tour de force display and a Bayreuth drought in offense which lasted eight-and-a-half minutes, the league newcomers from Lower Saxony won what was the last game in the first half of the season for both teams. Head Coach Michael Koch’s disappointment after the game knew no bounds: “When you have a 17-point lead with eleven minutes to go and squander it, that’s nothing but unacceptable. I not often peeved, but I really am today because when you look at the table, we missed a great opportunity!”
Both teams were missing a key player. Whereas the home side lined up without Alex Ruoff, Bayreuth was forced to substitute Bryan Bailey in the very first minute – the thigh knock he received in the game against Bamberg on Tuesday meant he could not continue. Even without their shooting guard, the visitors dominated the encounter from the fifth minute on. When Göttingen tied the scores at 11:11, the team from Upper Franconia pulled away to 11:20 in the space of two minutes. It subsequently stretched the lead point by point. A 3-point play by Phillipp Heyden made it 33:49 in the 18th minute – and it seemed that the game was as good as over. But the Violets did not give up: they fought their way back into the game before the break, caught up and brought the half to an emphatic end with points from Khalid El-Amin to make it 49:55.
After the break, it was again Bayreuth who initially set the tone. After the home side reduced the gap to 56:58 in the 23rd minute thanks to a bucket from outside by Dominik Bahiense de Mello, the visitors hit the mark with just about all their shots. In particular, there was now no stopping Trevon Hughes and Javon McCrea and a three by Simon Schmitz gave his team the highest lead of the evening, 79:62 in the 29th minute. After that, however, it seemed as if Göttingen’s basket was boarded up and the BG’s Jamal Boykin came into his own. His bucket sparked a run of 22 points without reply to put the home side ahead for the first time by 80:79 with four minutes to go, a lead it would no longer relinquish.