s.Oliver Baskets have continued their record start to the Beko German Basketball League by defeating EWE Baskets Oldenburg on the road by 82:75 (42:36) on the 12th matchday to move up to third in the table thanks to their ninth win of the season.
Of all people, fate dealt a harsh blow to the former Würzburg player Chris Kramer, who missed the game against his old team after suffering an injury in Oldenburg’s home victory against Bremerhaven. Poetic justice: the club from Lower Franconia was missing Maurice Stuckey, the ex-Oldenburg player. The game got off to an evenly poised start, but then the reigning cup winners produced a run of 8 points without reply to open up a gap (13:7 in the 5th minute). However, the home side’s lead was not to grow by more than seven points, as s.Oliver Baskets put up a stiffer fight again after Doug Spradley called his first timeout.
The visitors then took control from the 16th minute on: with the score at 31:25, they turned the game on its head with a 17:5 run to go 36:42 ahead at half-time. A crucial part in that was a spurt of 9 points without reply initiated by Brendan Lane with his first bucket of the game. Lamonte Ulmer was able to add two more, after which Cameron Long drained one of the few successful shots from beyond the arc by Würzburg to put his side 31:34 in front. Klemen Prepelic struck back with a three to tie the scores again, albeit for the final time (34:34 in the 18th minute). With six successful free throws in a row and a lay-up by Lane on the buzzer, Würzburg captured the lead before the break and were not to surrender it after that, despite all the efforts of EWE Baskets.
Lamonte Ulmer opened the second half with a three from the left corner to make it 36:45 and the visitors were able to stretch their lead to double digits (51:63) when Joyce drained a bucket from outside to bring the third period to a close.
At the death, the home side then gave its all to avert its first home defeat of the season. In the 39th minute, Rickey Paulding buried a three to cut the deficit to 70:79. After an unsporting foul by Brendan Lane, the ”Thunderbirds” even got as close as 75:79 thanks to two free throws by Prepelic and a three by Vaughn Duggins – and there were still 44 seconds left on the clock.
However, Oldenburg was not able to put any more points on the board as s.Oliver Baskets again kept their cool in crunch time to capture their first-ever win in Oldenburg with free throws by Seth Tuttle and Sebastian Betz.
Doug Spradley, Head Coach of s.Oliver Baskets, commented: “A huge compliment to my team. This is a great win for us and I’m a very proud coach today. Regardless of whether Oldenburg was a little tired or not, it’s a big feat to win here. I said to my players before the game that we had a chance of winning if we rebound well and play together hard and as a team for forty minutes. We played hard for forty minutes, rebounded well in the crucial spells and also played well together.”
Würzburg are now third in the table, just behind MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg on point differential – its next opponents in a game postponed from the 10th matchday on Friday in the s.Oliver Arena (tip-off: 8 p.m.).