s.Oliver Würzburg has won three out of five games on the road, but the team of Head Coach Doug Spradley continues to make heavy weather of it in front of its own crowd: The home game against Telekom Baskets Bonn on the tenth matchday of the easyCredit German Basketball League in the sold-out s.Oliver Arena in Würzburg was not only almost a carbon copy of the encounter with GIESSEN 46ers two weeks ago in terms of the result (81:86). This time, the home side suffered an 81:85 defeat in their cauldron after an evenly balanced and thrilling game.
The top scorers were the two Bonn players Julian Gamble (18 points/10 rebounds) and Josh Mayo (23 points/6 assists), who put their stamp on the game in the decisive phases. A strong second half by Maurice Stuckey (15 points/five threes after the break) was not enough the prevent the visitors from winning.
After the lead changed hands fourteen times in a tight and exciting encounter, it was the opposing side from the Rhineland who displayed more energy and had the better luck in the final eight minutes and so ran out winners.
After an evenly poised first five minutes (11:11), the home side was able to open up a gap. 22:19 ahead at the end of the first period, it was able to increase its lead at the start of the second quarter to 29:22 in the 14th minute through Charles Barton, Felix Hoffmann and James Southerland – with strong resistance in this spell coming from Filip Barovic in particular. After that, however, the club from Lower Franconia did not manage to extend its lead – the visitors now turned on the screws and fought their way back to within one point by half-time (36:35) thanks to a three by the Latvian player Ojars Silins.
After the break, the 3,140 spectators then saw an absolutely even game for a long time, with the lead changing hands almost by the second in some spells. Although Maurice Stuckey in particular really turned on the heat, draining five buckets from beyond the arc in the second half, Bonn was able to pull away to begin with: Silins scored twice in succession from downtown to make it 45:51 in the 26th minute. A foul by Florian Koch on Jake Odum was adjudged to be unsporting and enabled the home side to strike back right away: Odum buried both free throws, which Krešimir Loncar followed up with a three (50:51 in the 27th minute).
In the 32nd minute, when Moe Stuckey tied the scores with a bucket from outside (61:61), the game was still completely up for grabs. However, Bonn produced a run of eight points without reply in the next two minutes to open up what proved to be a decisive 61:69 gap. “Bonn stepped up the intensity in the crucial phase, but we didn’t,” said Doug Spradley afterwards. Although the game remained fiercely contested in the final six minutes and was on a knife’s edge several times, the home side was no longer able to turn the tables despite several opportunities.
Würzburg had its last chance when Bonn’s Anthony DiLeo missed two free throws with the score at 79:81 and just over 42 seconds left on the clock. In the subsequent attack, however, Filip Barovic stole possession from Jake Odum and, after a tactical foul and with exactly 18.9 seconds left, Josh Mayo showed his teammate DiLeo how to take free throws and so decided the encounter in favor of Bonn by 79:83.