s.Oliver Baskets stepped up their game after the break to continue their strong start to the season in the Beko German Basketball League and capture their fifth win in six games in the Franconian derby against medi bayreuth. In front of a crowd of 3,140 in the completely sold-out s.Oliver Arena, the newly promoted team beat the visitors from Upper Franconia by 79:60 (41:39) thanks to an all-round team performance.
The opening minutes clearly belonged to the home side, which got off to a lightning start in front of a packed home arena and had surged 13:2 ahead by the fifth minute after a bucket from beyond the arc by Lamonte Ulmer. Then medi got into the game and likewise produced an impressive run. In its strongest spell of the evening, Daniel Mullings scored in the ninth minute to give his side its first and only lead (17:15). The home side then dominated the next few minutes, putting 16 straight points on the board and chalking up its largest lead up to that point (31:17 in the 13th minute). Yet medi hit back again and a tight, open game ensued shortly before the break. With a little more luck in its finishing, the home side could have been further ahead than the 41:39 lead Kenneth Horton gave it with a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
s.Oliver Baskets were also the better team at the start of the second half. It was not until the final minute of the period that the visitors were able to score their first points from the floor – before that, they managed just four successful free throws from Xavier. The 57:47 scoreline was therefore more than flattering. Würzburg did not make any points at the start of the final period and so the visitors closed the gap when Jake Odum made it 57:51 in the 34th minute. However, the game was as good as decided in the space of 72 seconds when the team from Lower Franconia added six points in a row and pulled away again (63:51 in the 36th minute). Würzburg scored almost at will in the final minutes, whereas only a few attacks by its opponents were crowned with success.
Doug Spradley, Head Coach of s.Oliver Baskets, commented: “I’m happy we captured this victory. My players fought hard and defended well. We were able to take Bayreuth’s top scorer Jeffrey Xavier out of the game and Steve Wachalski was also only able to score from the floor right at the end. We had problems with Kenneth Horton before the break, but then got to grips with him better in the second half. We rebounded better all in all today. We stepped up our performance in the second half. We defended even better, moved the ball better and lost possession less.”
With their fifth win out of six, s.Oliver Baskets have defended their sixth spot in the table and can look forward to another home game in one week’s time, when Bremerhaven Polar Bears visit the s.Oliver Arena on November 14 (tip-off: 8:30 p.m.).