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Jena

s.Oliver Würzburg’s string of away wins comes to an end in Thuringia

Jena, 11-27.2016

s.Oliver Würzburg suffered a 75:84 (31:39) defeat on the road at Science Jena, with Julius Jenkins and Marcos Knight scoring 47 out of 84 points for the home side.

After three away wins in a row, s.Oliver Würzburg lost again on the road on the 11th matchday: At Science City Jena, the club from Lower Franconia trailed from the 2nd minute on and finally went down deservedly by the margin of 75:84 (31:39) in front of a crowd of 2,300 in the Sparkassen Arena. The game’s top scorers were the two Jena players Julius Jenkins (25 points) and Marcos Knight (22), whose combined haul was 47 points out of the 84 scored by the home side. Maurice Stuckey (16), Brendan Lane (14) and Jake Odum (11) got into double digits for s.Oliver Würzburg.

“Jena thoroughly deserved the win because it was more aggressive over the 40 minutes than we were. Playing well in offense for spells is not enough to win in this league,” said Würzburg’s Head Coach Doug Spradley afterwards. From the outset, it was clearly visible that the home side intended to finally win its first home game at the sixth attempt: Although the club from Thuringia needed a while to find its rhythm in offense, the same was true, but even more so, for the visitors in the first period: Apart from six points by Brendan Lane, nothing else went right for Würzburg in the first seven minutes, with the result that Jena was able to open up a 10:6 gap. After that, the game remained close over large spells, but the lead would no longer change hands. Shortly before the end of the first period, Julius Jenkins stepped up to the plate in offense, draining the first of his six buckets from beyond the arc (out of seven attempts) to make it 15:8. Maurice Stuckey struck back immediately, likewise with a three, but the home side still finished the first quarter ahead by 15:11. In the second period, Marcos Knight, the current top scorer in the German Basketball League, then notched up the first of his total of 22 points and, together with Jenkins, helped give their side a double-digit lead for the first time: The two point guards were responsible for Jena’s last eight points before the break, after which the visitors were able to reduce the deficit to 39:31 with two plays by Felix Hoffmann.

Würzburg initially got into the game better after the break. In particular Brendan Lane, Moe Stuckey and Jake Odum managed to shrink the home side’s lead in the first few minutes after half-time – and even cut the gap to 53:49 in the 29th minute. At the beginning of the final period, it was Lamonte Ulmer who kept Würzburg within striking distance, first with a tip-in (56:53) and then with a three (60:56). However, Jena was only thrown off its stride briefly by this comeback and, as in the whole game, immediately produced the right answer: Immanuel McElroy and Marcos Knight drained shots from downtown and Knight followed that with a lay-up to make it 70:60 and force Doug Spradley to call a timeout in the 36th minute.

However, neither he nor his team were able to turn the game around in the final phase – the gap would never fall below six points. After four points in a row by Marcos Knight (74:62), Maurice Stuckey and Vladimir Mihailovic hit back with a small 5:0 run to make it 74:67, then the “MVP of the Day” sealed victory: With less than two minutes left, Julius Jenkins scored a long two-pointer from the left corner to chalk up his 24th and 25th point to make it 76:67 and decide the game.

s.Oliver Würzburg now faces a home game this Saturday, December 3, 2016, when cup winners ALBA BERLIN visit the s.Oliver Arena (tip-off: 8:30 p.m.).

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