s.Oliver Würzburg went down to another defeat on the 13th matchday of the easyCredit German Basketball League. The team of Head Coach Doug Spradley lost on Sunday on the road against EWE Baskets Oldenburg by 75:85 (42:44). The five minutes after the break decided the encounter: Rickey Paulding and Philipp Schwethelm drained four buckets from beyond the arc in a row at the beginning of the third period to give the home side a clear lead. The game’s top scorers were Lamonte Ulmer (21 points) and Brendan Lane (20).
Doug Spradley again put his trust in his familiar starting five: Jake Odum, Maurice Stuckey, Max Ugrai, Ulmer and Lane lined up for the tip-off in front of just over 5,200 spectators in the big EWE Arena. They saw an evenly matched encounter in the first period, with many small runs by both sides. Oldenburg opened up a slight gap on several occasions, but the club from Lower Franconia struck back right away each time.
Würzburg also did not let itself become disconcerted when the “Thunderbirds” went 34:25 in front in the 15th minute. Its response was a 10:0 spurt with points by Stuckey, Ulmer, Odum and Lane to take the lead for the first time: 34:35 in the 17th minute. The game was also completely evenly poised shortly before the break (42:42), then the Belgian player Maxime De Zeeuw made it 44:42 for the home side at half-time with a slam-dunk.
Oldenburg then began the third period with greater energy and more confidence than the visitors: Rickey Paulding and Philipp Schwethelm took and scored four threes in succession to put EWE Baskets 58:44 ahead. “We spent the rest of the game trying to catch up,” said Maurice Stuckey afterwards. At the end of the day, the 3-point field goal percentage was – like a week earlier in Würzburg’s home game against ALBA BERLIN – the crucial statistic in this encounter. There could be no faulting the visitors’ fighting spirit for large stretches of the game: They snapped up 15 offensive rebounds and earned 15 shots more than the home side. “It’s then frustrating when key players don’t make open shots. We could probably have come away with more with a better percentage, but that’s the story of our season so far,” summed up Doug Spradley. In particular, the four point guards were anything but in good shooting form on the evening and together drained just two of their 17 attempted three-pointers. The visitors were able to reduce the gap slightly to 67:56 by the end of the third period and Krešo Loncar made it 67:58 at the start of the final quarter. Oldenburg replied with a slam-dunk by Chris Kramer and the fifth bucket from downtown (out of six attempts) by Philipp Schwethelm to make it 73:58. The 15-point gap remained intact until the 39th minute (83:68), when Brendan Lane in particular managed to put a slightly better complexion on the score.
s.Oliver Würzburg now face an important home game this weekend: Braunschweig, the team just below them in the league, come to the s.Oliver Arena with their two former Würzburg players Carlos Medlock and Constantin Ebert. The tip-off is at 6 p.m.