The Paul Horn Arena is always worth the trip for s.Oliver Würzburg: On the 5th matchday in the easyCredit German Basketball League, the team from Lower Franconia captured a fiercely contested 83:76 win on the road at WALTER Tigers Tübingen. The game was decided by a run of 9 points without reply by the visitors in the closing minutes. The most valuable player was Baskets’ playmaker Jake Odum, who notched up 27 points and five assists and also drained a buzzer beater from his own three-point line at the end of the first half. Lamonte Ulmer (12), Brendan Lane (11), Max Ugrai (11) and Vladimir Mihailovic (10) also got into double digits in Würzburg’s first victory of the season.
The visitors showed from the tip-off that they intended to leave the court in the Paul Horn Arena as winners for the fifth time in succession. With the requisite intensity in defense and buckets by all members of the starting five in the first seven minutes, the visitors dictated play and, after a lay-up by youngster Max Ugrai, had already opened up a 9:17 gap before the Tigers bared their teeth for the first time. The home side reduced the deficit to 23:24 by the 14th minute and kept within striking distance as the game went on.
Whenever Würzburg began to open up a small gap, a Tübingen player always had the right answer – and in the first half that was frequently Isaiah Philmore, who had notched up eight of his total haul of ten points after 15 minutes of play. The home side managed to equalize in the 18th minute, but then Würzburg produced a 9:2 run – with the game’s most spectacular basket as a highlight: Jake Odum jumped from his own three-point line, the ball left his hand shortly before the half-time buzzer and went through Tübingen’s basket without touching the hoop to make the score 36:43 at half-time.
s.Oliver Würzburg was likewise not able to open up a decisive gap for a long time in the second half – in particular Tigers’ top scorer Barry Stewart and center Gary McGhee repeatedly kept their team in the game. Although Tübingen was never ahead at any time in the game, the encounter remained an extremely exciting affair right down to the final minute. With less than three minutes to go, it was Barry Stewart who drained a bucket from outside to make it 70:71 and shortly afterwards a lay-up to tie the scores again – 72:72 with 2:21 minutes left.
Yet Jake Odum and his teammates remained cool and focused in crunch time – they boarded up their own basket and at the other end bagged nine straight points to capture their first win of the season. With 18 seconds to go before the final buzzer, Max Ugrai drained a free throw to make it 72:81, complete the 9:0 run and seal the game. “We also kept on playing well after the equalizer and didn’t lose our rhythm. I really have to praise my players and our fans who made the journey,” said Head Coach Doug Spradley.
Würzburg now aims to chalk up its first home win of the season this Friday, October 21, 2016, when FRAPORT Skyliners visit the s.Oliver Arena. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast not only on telekombasketball.de, but also live in free TV on SPORT1.