In the catch-up game of the 22nd matchday in the easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga, medi bayreuth did not score any points in a foreign arena on Wednesday evening. Although Head Coach Mladen Drijencic's team was able to win the first three quarters, the medi team lost 73:78 at the HAKRO Merlins in Crailsheim.
Medi seemed a little nervous at the beginning of the game. Two ball losses in the first two minutes of the game allowed the HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim to take the lead at first. However, when Otis Livingston II marked the first medi lead, the magicians also lost their confidence a little and a quarter developed with many missed shots, especially from distance. Again, it was Otis Livingston II who redeemed his team and hit the first three-pointer of the evening, which was also the highest medi lead up to that point. However, as Crailsheim were now also scoring a little better, the lead shrank to 20:14 by the quarter break.
This lead was to become even smaller, as a 5:0 run by the Merlins forced medi Head Coach Mladen Drijencic to call a time-out after only 1:30 minutes in the second quarter in order to readjust his team. Nevertheless, Crailsheim kept coming within one point of medi, but now it was Brandon Childress who had something against the Magicians taking the lead. The US American was unstoppable in this phase and scored 15 points in the second game alone.
The beginning of the second half clearly belonged to the hosts, who came back to within three points of medi with a 7:0 run spanning the entire quarter. But with a lot of fighting spirit and team unity, the Bayreuth team was able to distance the Merlins again and pull away to 52:41. However, the Merlins did not give up and fought their way back to medi. Head Coach Mladen Drijencic's team, however, always knew the right answer even in tight phases and was able to pull away to 61:50 after 30 minutes.
There was little to be seen of the strong team performance in the final quarter. Instead, the Magicians now took complete control and, thanks to a 14:1 start, were even able to take the lead in the 33rd minute. A few seconds before the end of the game, three points from the free-throw line by Brandon Childress brought them back to within one point, but the Merlins played cleverly, so that medi had to give away the absolutely possible first away victory with 73:78.
Mladen Drijencic: "The support from the fans spurred the Merlins on at the end and made us unsafe. I think my team dominated the game for a long time with this small lineup. Tactically we had found answers as well, but unfortunately we didn't manage the one-on-one defence."
Head Coach Mladen Drijencic now has little time to prepare his team for the next duel in the fight to stay in the league. Already next Saturday, 8 April, the match-up against the Basketball Löwen Braunschweig will take place. Jump in the Volkswagen Halle is at 8 pm.