s.Oliver Würzburg is still waiting for its first win on the road in the second half of the season: The club from Lower Franconia lost the encounter at playoff candidate MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg on Saturday by 65:92 (35:46). In particular, Würzburg did not find an antidote to the home side’s strong three-point marksmen from the second period on. “Ludwigsburg worked off its frustration at Wednesday’s Eurocup defeat today. I bet such a high shooting percentage is rare even for them. That’s basketball sometimes,” said Head Coach Dirk Bauermann. His team’s top scorer was Vincent Sanford with 19 points.
In front of 4,381 spectators in the MHP Arena, Bauermann started with Jake Odum, Maurice Stuckey, Lamonte Ulmer, Max Ugrai and Brendan Lane, who also did a very good job in the opening spell. They did not concede any points in the first three-and-a-half minutes and went 0:7 ahead. However, the home side quickly found its rhythm in offense when Jack Cooley came into the game after just under five minutes: The center was almost unstoppable on the evening and scored Ludwigsburg’s next 12 points to cut the deficit to 17:19 at the end of the first period.
The second quarter began with the second bucket from outside by Vincent Sanford to make it 17:22, before D.J. Kennedy with a 3-point play and Jack Cooley with his next two scores put the home side ahead for the first time (24:22 in the 14th minute). Würzburg’s captain Krešimir Lončar with a three and Jake Odum with a lay-up then recaptured the lead twice, but Ludwigsburg’s long-range shooters turned the game around once and for all: Buckets from downtown by Cliff Hammonds, Rocky Trice and Chad Toppert (three) helped the home side produce a 20:8 run between the 16th and 20th minute and go in at half-time leading by 46:35.
“After the good opening spell, our game became disrupted because we very clearly lack the cleverness, experience and discipline to keep playing at such a high level for the whole forty minutes. Ludwigsburg became physically stronger and more aggressive as the game went on,” was Dirk Bauermann’s post mortem.
Although his team was able to cut the gap to 46:39 at the start of the third period thanks to four points by Brendan Lane, the home side soon hit back with the right response and restored its double-digit lead (59:48 in the 27th minute). Then it was the turn of Chad Toppert once more: Ludwigsburg’s sharpshooter again drained three successive buckets from beyond the arc to make it 69:54 after thirty minutes.
In the opening minutes of the final period, the home side added four more threes, interspersed only by two lay-ups by Cooley, whereas nothing went right for Würzburg in offense except for two free throws and a wonderful bucket by youngster Lukas Wank. By the 36th minute, Ludwigsburg had chalked up its highest lead of the game (88:61) and had sealed victory.