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s.Oliver Würzburg dashes Bayreuth’s hopes of a playoff spot

Bayreuth, 05-07-2019

There was no change to the injury list and the line-up from the defeat on the road in Berlin two days before: Gabriel Olaseni was again missing in addition to Johannes Richter, Jordan Hulls and Joshua Obiesie. Yet the club from Lower Franconia did not show any signs of that being a handicap at any time during the encounter in front of a crowd of 3,000 in the Oberfrankenhalle: “The boys found the necessary energy and right attitude almost at the flick of a switch,” said Denis Wucherer afterwards. On the way to giving the Head Coach the best birthday present possible, his team produced a flowing display at times, especially in the first half, and injected far greater intensity into its play than the home side.

Bayreuth only rarely had simple shots, whereas Würzburg moved the ball well and made a string of shots. The first seven attempts from within the arc hit their mark and the visitors also drained four buckets from downtown in the first period through Cameron Wells, Devin Oliver and Skyler Bowlin (two). They also dominated the boards in the opening spell and so repeatedly had second chances to score. Xavier Cooks snapped up an offensive rebound in the 4th minute to put s.Oliver Würzburg 5:11 in front. In the 7th minute, Mike Morrison notched up what were already his seventh and eighth points to make it 10:20 and, on the next attack, Cameron Wells benefited from a further offensive rebound to bury a jump shot (10:22).

Bayreuth was able to reduce the deficit slightly to 22:30 by the end of the first period thanks to two threes by its top scorer David Stockton (19 points), but s.Oliver Würzburg then stepped up a gear again in defense in the first five minutes of the second quarter: An 11:1 run stretched the lead to 23:41 in the 15th minute. Würzburg maintained that clear advantage until the end of the first half, which youngster Fynn Fischer brought to an end by scoring his first-ever points in the German league (36:53).

The home side came out after the break with greater resolve and invested far more in defense at the start of the third period: whereas s.Oliver Würzburg conceded just one turnover in the entire first half, Bayreuth now forced three in just over the first two minutes of the third quarter, producing a 10:3 run to reduce the deficit to 46:56. Denis Wucherer called a timeout, after which Skyler Bowlin soon regained the momentum for Würzburg with his fifth bucket from outside in the encounter. The visitors had the game back under control and extended the gap to 55:74 by the end of the third quarter.

Nor was Bayreuth given any chance to cut that lead decisively in the opening five minutes of the final period – on the contrary: Julian Albus with a three and Devin Oliver with a lay-up stretched the score to 62:87 in the 35th minute to seal victory for s.Oliver Würzburg. The home side was then able to put a better complexion on the final result in the last five minutes, as the visitors switched to energy-saving mode.

Denis Wucherer commented:

“We’re satisfied and happy that our boys found the necessary energy and right attitude almost at the flick of a switch today against a Bayreuth team that I’ve also seen perform differently. We laid the foundation for our win in the first half with our fine team play – 13 assists is a good number. We also rebounded very well throughout the forty minutes, despite a lot of spells where we had a small formation. So the victory is deserved. It’s great that we now have the chance to keep our playoff hopes alive against Bonn in front of our own fans.”