Every single one of the 3,119 spectators in the Oberfrankenhalle is bound not to forget this game between medi bayreuth and WALTER Tigers Tübingen so quickly. Bayreuth seemed to have wrapped up victory with 15 seconds to go, but then the Tigers turned the game on its head again with less than one second on the clock thanks to buckets from downtown by Alvaro Munoz and Barry Stewart.
The visitors from Tübingen led and hardly anyone would have put a penny on the team of Head Coach Raoul Korner winning. However, the Austrian conjured up one final move on his tactic board in his last timeout – and his team put his instructions into action perfectly to score and snatch victory. Nate Linhart played the ideal in-bounds pass directly below the basket and right into the hands of De’Mon Brooks, who had been put free thanks to a strong block by Kyan Anderson. Brooks jumped up and the ball landed in the basket to make it 82:81: The dream of Bayreuth’s tenth home win – seemingly dashed by Stewart’s three – had suddenly come true. And when referee Robert Lottermoser consulted the instant replay and confirmed the bucket, the state of shock among the fans changed to jubilant victory celebrations.
Bayreuth’s 18th win of the season on this, the 26th matchday, was all the more valuable given that all its direct rivals for fourth place – Berlin, Bonn and Oldenburg – lost.
Brief summary of the encounter
medi bayreuth got off to the better start and went 8:4 ahead in the 3rd minute, among other things thanks to a bucket from beyond the arc by Lewis and points by Assem Marei. However, Tübingen then turned the game around, with Isaiah Philmore scoring twice from outside (12:10 in the 7th minute). Bayreuth hit back and recaptured the lead, likewise through threes by Bastian Doreth and David Gonzalvez (16:12 in the 9th minute). However, the visitors took the period: Barry Stewart scored twice in the final minute to make it 20:16 – and, typically for this quarter, from beyond the arc.
The visitors were able to defend and even stretch their lead in the second period. Stanton Kidd added a slam-dunk (24:16 in the 12th minute) to complete a run of 10 points without reply. The former Bayreuth player, center Gary McGhee, likewise added a slam-dunk to give the Tigers their first double-digit lead (31:20 in the 14th minute). Yet the Heroes Of Tomorrow did not give up and closed the gap to 29:33 in the 15th minute with threes by Kyan Anderson and Trey Lewis. However, they were not able to close the gap further as a result of further buckets from outside by Tübingen: Stanton Kidd and Jared Jordan took measure and scored to make it 42:33 in the 19th minute. Alvaro Munoz scored on the half-time buzzer to put Tübingen 46:38 in front.
It was also the visitors who mainly dominated the encounter to begin with in the third period. Their first bucket extended the gap to double digits again and then they chalked up their highest lead of the evening thanks to a slam-dunk by Washburn (53:40 in the 24th minute). However, David Gonzalvez then came back on court and had a lot of energy in him. That spurred medi into action and De’Mon Brooks cut the deficit to 50:57 in the 26th minute with a 3-point play. The home side now caught up point by point and Gonzalvez himself made it 59:61 in the 30th minute to the jubilation of the crowd. The noise level went even higher when Trey Lewis scored a buzzer-beating three from the left corner to put his side back ahead for the first time in more than 20 minutes.
The final ten minutes were a thrilling nail-biter. Both teams were equally matched and it was initially Tübingen who turned on the screws again. The magnificent Barry Stewart made it 68:62 in the 33rd minute, but David Gonzalvez hit back. His five points in a row got Bayreuth within striking distance and then Kyan Anderson snatched the lead back for his side again (72:71 in the 37th minute). After a technical foul by Stanton Kidd, De’Mon Brooks stepped up to the foul line and clinically drained all three shots (75:73 in the 38th minute). A minute later, he added two more free throws to make it 77:73, Bayreuth’s highest lead on the evening.
Further free throws by Lewis meant Bayreuth’s lead was still four points (79:75) with 15 seconds to go. After a timeout by the visitors, Alvaro Munoz quickly reduced the deficit to 78:79 with a three off the board. Trey Lewis then stepped up to the foul line, but missed his second attempt with twelve seconds remaining. Tübingen again summoned up everything it had: With 0.9 seconds on the clock, a wild three by Stewart wriggled its way through the hoop to make it 81:80 – and Tübingen looked like certain winners. Yet medi bayreuth still had one attempt. In the final timeout, Head Coach Raoul Korner gave his team instructions for a move geared toward De’Mon Brooks. It came off and Bayreuth sealed its 18th win of the season.