At long last: After seven straight losses, s.Oliver Würzburg convincingly got back to winning ways. On the 24th matchday in the easyCredit German Basketball League, the team of Head Coach Dirk Bauermann defeated EWE Baskets Oldenburg 98:75 (43:34) in front of 3,089 spectators in the s.Oliver Arena. The home side put the “Thunderbirds” from Lower Saxony under pressure from the tip-off with aggressive defending and impressed in attack with good combinational play and strong shooting percentages. “I’m really delighted that we were able to reward our faithful fans for their loyalty with this win,” emphasized Dirk Bauermann afterwards.
The auspices going into the game were not the best: Mustafa Shakur entered the arena on crutches due to his foot injury, while Marshawn Powell was missing through suspension. Together with Jake Odum, Maurice Stuckey, Lamonte Ulmer and Brendan Lane, Sebastian Betz was included in Würzburg’s starting five for the first time this season in place of the power forward. Stuckey, Lane and Odum then picked up immediately where they left off a week earlier in the narrow defeat in Frankfurt: All three drained their first buckets from beyond the arc to put their side 6:0 and, a little later, 9:7 in front.
Oldenburg’s Rickey Paulding and Chris Kramer also were in good sharpshooting form at the beginning, and center Brian Qvale was also able to win several tussles below the basket. The result was an evenly balanced first period in which the lead changed hands six times. The crowd witnessed the last tied score in the 9th minute (17:17), after which Krešimir Lončar added a lay-up and Vincent Sanford a free throw to put s.Oliver Würzburg 20:17 ahead after the first quarter.
The home side, for which Felix Hoffmann and Max Ugrai were given a lot of time on court in addition to Sebastian Betz, continued to put the “Thunderbirds” under pressure with intense defending. The upshot: The visitors only scored two points – a lay-up by Qvale – in the first three minutes of the second period. Moe Stuckey brought Würzburg’s 11:2 run in this spell to a close with his third three of the game to make it 31:19 – the first double-digit lead for the team from Lower Franconia – to as good as seal the encounter.
After that, the visitors managed to stay within striking distance, but were never able to get closer than nine points (43:34 at the break) in the further course of the game. Nor was s.Oliver Würzburg thrown out of its stride when Lamonte Ulmer suffered an ankle injury shortly before half-time: Maurice Stuckey quickly helped his side build a clearer lead with two further buckets from downtown at the start of the third period (49:37 in the 22nd minute).
The 26-year-old former Oldenburg player set a new personal best in the easyCredit German Basketball League in this game by scoring 22 points and was singled out for praise by Head Coach Dirk Bauermann at the end: “It was incredible what scorching form he was in today. Brendan Lane was outstanding and Jake Odum very strong. However, all the other players played a great part in this win. And the fact that a 34-year-old player like Krešimir Lončar throws himself after every ball in such a game is also an exceptional quality.”
The home side then definitively took the wind out of the visitors’ sails and kept on pulling away in the further course of the third period. Stuckey’s sixth three in the 25th minute made it 60:43 and, in the same minute, Vincent Sanford managed to stretch the lead to twenty points for the first time (63:43). A run of 13 without reply to make it 70:43 sealed the game in favor of the home wide, who was even able to extend its lead to 30 points at the start of the final period (82:52 in the 32nd minute).
The visitors were then able to put a slightly better complexion on the scoreline, whereas Würzburg’s two youngsters Lukas Wank and Marvin Heckel were given their first minutes on court in the German league by Dirk Bauermann. Wank thanked his coach by scoring his first two league points to make the final score 98:73.