In front of 2,631 fans in the Oberfrankenhalle, medi bayreuth searched for the necessary intensity as well as their scoring ability from the three-point line for 25 minutes against HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim. By the time Head Coach Raoul Korner's team had found its way into the game, at least in terms of physicality, the guests from Crailsheim were already clearly in the lead. In the end, medi bayreuth lost 74:86 (34:47) and suffered its third defeat of the season.
It was up to Martynas Sajus to score the first points of the game, but within a very short time, Crailsheim managed to bring their high tempo into the game, which medi actually wanted to avoid. The Merlins converted the resulting mistakes into quick points. However, since medi's offense still worked well in the first quarter and they were able to convert three of four threes, they went into the first quarter break with a slim 23:22 lead.
After medi had also scored the first points at the beginning of the second game unit, Janari Joesaar's basket should have been the last basket success for a long time. In the medi offense nothing more was going to succeed, while the Crailsheim team was getting better and better at their game. This resulted in a 17:0 run by the Merlins, who were able to take control of the game. The guests won the quarter 25:11 and Bayreuth trailed by 13 points (34:47) at the break.
After the change of ends, the team's hoped-for race to catch up unfortunately failed to happen. Especially beyond the 6.75-meter line nothing worked. As in the second quarter, no further three-pointers found their target. Not everything worked for the Merlins, but whenever points were needed, T.J. Shorts (24 points in the end) was on the spot. The announced game plan of medi Head Coach Raoul Korner, namely to take Shorts out of the game, did not work out at all. Either the US-American was able to finish successfully himself or to skillfully put his teammates in the limelight. Although Medi managed to even the score in the third period (19:19), they continued to chase the deficit from the second quarter and went into the final ten minutes with a 53:66 deficit.
The last quarter also did not bring any change in the game. Medi Bayreuth was not able to start a real chase, especially due to the continued lack of success from the three-point line. Instead, Crailsheim found a suitable answer to every tactical change made by medi. The Bayreuth team tried to throw everything into the scales once again, but could no longer come close to the guests, who celebrated their first away win of the season with 86:74.
"We were not physically present. For me, it is completely unexplainable how you can perform like that in the first home game, which we were looking forward to. We weren't able to turn the switch for 25 minutes. We became a bit more physical after that, but Crailsheim was already in the game by then and calmly brought the game home," explained Raoul Korner (Head Coach medi bayreuth) after the game.
Already next Wednesday it comes to the duel of the undefeated teams in Group A in the FIBA Europe Cup. Head Coach Raoul Korner's team will meet the London Lions. Jump in the Copper Box is at 21:00 German time.