The series remains unbroken: s.Oliver Baskets are still unbeaten after their fourth appearance in Tübingen’s Paul Horn Arena. After the first half, it even looked like Head Coach Doug Spradley and his team would have a relatively relaxed evening.
Würzburg produced a run of 7 points without reply to build its first largish lead (25:30 in the eleventh minute) and was then able to keep stretching it minute by minute thanks to an excellent shooting percentage from all distances. 82 percent of its attempts from inside and 62 percent from outside hit their mark in the first half – in particular, Brendan Lane was unstoppable and bagged 17 of his total haul of 27 points in the first twenty minutes. The home side was simply not able to keep up in this spell: s.Oliver Baskets opened up a gap of fifteen points (32:47) by the 15th minute and both sides went in at half-time with the score at 42:58.
The visitors posted their highest lead shortly after the break when Maurice Stuckey drained a three (46:63 in the 22nd minute). However, the 17-point difference would not last for long: the home side was far more aggressive in the third period, threw Würzburg off its stride and forced numerous turnovers.
It was able to reduce the deficit to 70:80 by the end of the third quarter and kept up the pressure at the start of the final period. Apart from a free throw by Cameron Long and a lay-up by Brendan Lane, the club from Lower Franconia did not manage to add to its tally between the 31st and 35th minutes, whereas Tübingen came closer and closer. Vladimir Mihailovic finally tied the scores at 83:83 with a bucket from beyond the arc and then added two free throws to make it 85:83 and give Tübingen its first lead since the 9th minute.
The visitors then got back into the game just in the nick of time. Dru Joyce responded to Tübingen’s lead with a three-pointer. Shortly afterwards, Seth Tuttle and Brendan Lane snapped up two important offensive rebounds and seized their chances to make it 87:92 in the 38th minute. That sparked an extremely exciting final spell: with 16 seconds left on the clock, William Buford buried his free throws number nine and ten to equalize for the Tigers again (95:95). Yet Dru Joyce also kept his cool after a tactical foul by the home side and also made his two shots from the line with thirteen seconds remaining (95:97). After Head Coach Igor Perovic called a timeout, the Tigers tried to decide the game from the three-point line: Vladimir Mihailovic let the clock run down to three seconds and attempted a bucket from just over seven meters out – but missed. Seth Tuttle snapped up the rebound and was fouled with just over a second to go.
Over seven minutes elapsed before he was able to take his two free throws – that is how long the timekeepers needed to set the right time remaining on the clock in accordance with the referees’ instructions. Seth Tuttle missed both the first and second, Bogdan Radosavljevic snapped up the ball and tried to produce the “Miracle of Tübingen” with a shot from his own half – but the ball only hit the hoop. s.Oliver Baskets now have three days to prepare for their next game on the road: they travel to Basketball Lions Braunschweig on Wednesday for a game postponed from the 4th matchday (tip-off: 8 p.m.).
Doug Spradley, Head Coach of s.Oliver Baskets, commented: “Congratulations to my team and a thank-you to our fans who made the trip and who deserve some of the praise for this win. We conceded too many points in the first period, but all in all I was satisfied with the first half. After the break, we played too hectically in crucial phases and I wasn’t too happy about that. Tübingen gave its all and fought back. It’s a pity there had to be a loser after a game like this one.”