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Basketball: BBC Bayreuth fights off PS Karlsruhe LIONS

Bayreuth, 02-18-2024

BBC Bayreuth claimed a hard-fought 77:71 victory over PS Karlsruhe LIONS in the BARMER 2nd German Basketball League Pro A today. With Philip Jalalpoor back, but still without the injured Moritz Plescher, Marios Giotis and Mohamed Silah, the BBC, which is ninth in the table, began the game against seventh-placed Karlsruhe, which is extremely important for its playoff qualification.

Bayreuth started the game with Philip Jalalpoor, Esa Ahmad, Aaron Carver, Shane Gatling and Marco Rahn. After a bucket from downtown by Shane Gatling and a three by Philip Jalalpoor, the BBC got off to a good start with a 5:0 lead. The home side was 9:6 ahead after five minutes. Bayreuth stretched the gap to 12:6 with another three by Philip Jalalpoor. Bayreuth displayed a lot of intensity and heart, while Karlsruhe was repeatedly forced to make difficult shots. The BBC was 16:11 ahead with two minutes left in the quarter. In the end, Bayreuth, which played strongly in offense, took a 25:17 lead into the first quarter break.

Karlsruhe got off to a strong start to the second quarter and closed the gap to 22:25. Esa Ahmad responded by making it 27:22 for the BBC. With Bayreuth 27:24 in front, the BBC's Head Coach Mladen Dijencic called his team to the line for a timeout. After a further bucket from downtown by O'Showen Williams, the visitors went 30:29 in front for the first time. Philip Jalalpoor replied with a three to make it 32:33 and the BBC had great problems getting its game in order. Philip Jalalpoor's threes - one of them to make it 35:36 - kept Bayreuth in the game. A three by Shane Gatling gave the BBC another boost at the end of the first half and Bayreuth went in at half-time 42:36 in front.

Karlsruhe started the third quarter with a three by Garai Zeeb to make it 39:42. The visitors equalized shortly afterwards to make it 44:44. Marco Rahn then drained a three to make it 47:44 for Bayreuth. The BBC led 49:48 after 27 minutes and now adopted more of the physicality of Karlsruhe's play. Julian Albus equalized for the visitors with a three to make it 51:51, but the visitors' defense did not allow the BBC to pull away again. The game went into the final quarter with the score tied at 51:51 and a high energy level.

The game remained fiercely contested. At 53:53, Marco Rahn was penalized for an unsporting foul. However, Karlsruhe was unable to capitalize on the situation apart from hitting a free throw; instead, Selim Fofana, who was outstanding in the second half, stole the ball and put the BBC 55:54 in front again. The BBC went 64:59 ahead with five minutes remaining. Bayreuth took a 71:64 lead into crunch time with two-and-a-half minutes remaining. O'Showen Williams then cut the deficit to 69:73 with two free throws. Marco Rahn drained a free throw, but Karlsruhe scored twice with 8.9 seconds remaining to make it 74:71 in Bayreuth's favor. Shane Gatling then stepped up to the free throw line and at least made the second free throw - 75:71. The visitors then missed a three-point attempt and, on Bayreuth's counter-attack, there was another unsporting foul against Shane Gatling, who then made two more free throw points. Bayreuth not only went on to win the game by 77:71, but also the head-to-head encounter, which could still prove important in the end.

On Friday, March 1, BBC Bayreuth has an away game against VfL SparkassenStars Bochum on the agenda. Tip-off is at 7 pm.