It was a close affair, but in the end medi Bayreuth came away empty-handed after losing on the road at ratiopharm ulm. The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner lost 93:103 (43:48) on the 16th game day of the easyCredit Basketball German Basketball League and now has six wins and nine defeats after 15 games.
In front of a crowd of 5,807 in the ratiopharm arena, Bastian Doreth and his teammates put up a fierce fight in an encounter that remained close down to the final minutes, but then Tyler Harvey and Killian Hayes drained two buckets from outside to seal victory for the home side, who had the day’s outstanding player in its ranks: Zoran Dragic, who finished with a haul of 29 points.
In the past weeks, both Head Coaches had repeatedly pointed out that their teams need to become more stable, in particular in defense. Yet their words were not really translated into action by either side and so the encounter between medi Bayreuth and ratiopharm ulm on the 16th game day turned into an extremely entertaining, but above all attacking, end-to-end affair in which both teams traded blows.
After Ulm had the better start (0:5 in the 2nd minute), medi got into its stride and went ahead (10:5 in the 5th minute). Yet the home side’s response was not long in coming. Spurred on by the strong Zoran Dragic (16 points in the first and 13 in the second half), Ulm soon seized control of the game again to take a 25:20 advantage at the end of the first period.
A three by Tyler Harvey at the start of the second quarter even put Ulm eight points in front, but the HEROES OF TOMORROW also hit back, canceling out the deficit in a little over three minutes and even moving 31:30 ahead once more in the 14th minute. The lead then changed hands on just about every attack, before a brief run by Ulm in the last two minutes of the period gave it a five-point lead again by the end of the first half. Whereas the HEROES OF TOMORROW had been able to step up a gear immediately after the break in past games, Ulm managed to keep Bayreuth at arm’s length to begin with and then even take a double-digit lead (72:62 in the 27th minute). Yet medi Bayreuth again struck back and was able to maintain the five-point deficit it had after the first and second periods at the end of the third quarter as well (70:75). And after just 67 seconds in the final period, Bryce Alford drained a bucket from beyond the arc to tie the encounter again. Ulm then remained ahead all the time, but the game was still completely up for grabs after Evan Bruinsma buried two free throws to make it 91:93 with 2:11 minutes to go.
However, Ulm’s long-range shooters then struck: Tyler Harvey drained his fifth three and Killian Hayes another bucket from downtown to make it 99:91 and seal victory with 57 seconds left. In the end, it was small things that tipped the scales in favor of Ulm. The HEROES OF TOMORROW lost the rebounding duel by the narrow margin of 29:33, but the three more offensive rebounds Ulm snapped up (7:10) gave it the chances it needed to score and win the game. Killian Hayes and his teammates were also more attentive in possession, and so Ulm’s victory was ultimately deserved.
The HEROES OF TOMORROW do not have much time to take a breather: The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner is back in action this Monday against Bakken Bears in the FIBA Europe Cup. The game against the Danish club tips off in Bayreuth’s Oberfrankenhalle at 6:30 p.m.