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Basketball: BBC turns game around against Jena in crunch time

Bayreuth, 02-07-2024

BBC Bayreuth put in a strong performance in the final spell to beat top team Medipolis Science City Jena 86:83 in the BARMER 2nd German Basketball League Pro A today.

The BBC started with Lenny Liedtke, Selim Fofana, Philip Jalalpoor, Aaron Carver and Esa Ahmad against the runners-up from East Thuringia. Mohamed Sillah, Moritz Plescher and Marios Giotis were still missing through injury.

Bayreuth got off to a strong start with a 7:2 lead after two threes by Selim Fofana and Philip Jalalpoor, followed by a 6:0 run by the visitors and Jena went 8:7 in front. The BBC then turned up the heat again and led 13:9 after a three-point play by Esa Ahmad. Esa Ahmad added a three and Shane Gatling a three-point play to put the BBC 19:11 in front. The BBC was 25:22 ahead after ten minutes, but Vuk Radojicic drained a three for the visitors with five seconds left in the quarter.

Jena initially tied the scores at 25:25 at the start of the second period and Robin Lodders put the visitors 26:25 in front with a free throw. A three-point play by Aaron Carver followed and Bayreuth was 28:26 in front again. The lead now changed hands on almost every attack. However, Jena went in at half-time with a 39:38 lead.

Bayreuth had a very low shooting percentage of just 31 percent from the floor in the first half and thrived on a large number of free throws.

The visitors got off to a strong start to the second half in front of 2,113 spectators and stretched the lead to 45:38, after which Esa Ahmad and Lenny Liedtke cut the deficit to 43:45 with a three for the BBC. Shane Gatling put Bayreuth back in front by 46:45 with a three. Jena went 55:54 in front again with two minutes left in the third period and then stretched the gap to 57:54. The BBC now tried too much to score through individual actions and lost its structure somewhat. After a buzzer-beater from downtown by Robin Lodders, Jena went into the final period with a 67:58 lead. The BBC began the fourth quarter with a three by Shane Gatling to make it 61:67. Alexander Herrera put the visitors 74:64 in front for the first time with six minutes remaining and a ten-point difference. The BBC's offense lacked a solid structure at that point. With the score at 78:70 for the visitors, Jena's Stephan Haukohl was penalized for an unsporting foul with three minutes remaining, which ultimately turned out to be a game-changer. As a result, Bayreuth closed the gap to 75:78 - and Lenny Liedtke finally equalized with a three to make it 78:78. Blake Francis then drained a three for Jena in crunch time to put his side 81:78 in front.

Esa Ahmad then drained a lay-up to make it 80:81, followed by two free throws from Blake Francis to make it 83:80 for the visitors. Philip Jalalpoor equalized with a three to make it 83:83 with 46 seconds remaining - timeout for Jena.Blake Francis then drained a three and the outstanding Shane Gatling decided the game with a bucket from downtown with seven seconds remaining to win 86:83. After 21 games, the BBC now has eleven wins to its name and is heading back towards the playoff places.