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Weak performance in last period costs Würzburg victory

Braunschweig, 02-09-2020

s.Oliver Würzburg has lost two games in a row for the first time since the end of October: On the 19th game day in the easyCredit German Basketball League, the team of Head Coach Denis Wucherer was defeated by the deserved margin of 87:100 on the road at Basketball Lions Braunschweig. The club from Lower Franconia had a six-point lead after the third period in front of almost 3,000 spectators in the Volkswagenhalle, but was hardly able to carve out any good shooting opportunities in the final quarter in the face of aggressive defending by its opponents from Lower Saxony. “When you lose the final period by 8:27, your chances of winning are relatively low,” said Wucherer afterwards. The encounter’s top scorers were the three Braunschweig players Thomas Klepeisz (22 points), Scott Eatherton (20) and Karim Jallow (19).

Würzburg’s Head Coach had to travel to Braunschweig without playmaker Cameron Wells, who was confined to bed after going down with the flu. However, his teammates did not miss the top scorer to begin with: Their play in offense in the first half was just as good as in the game between the two clubs at the beginning of January, when s.Oliver Würzburg notched up 54 points in the first half and drained a total of 12 out of 21 attempted threes (57 percent). In this game, they even managed 57 after the first two periods and made nine out of their 11 shots from beyond the arc: a 3-point field goal percentage of 82.

In particular, the home side was not able to get a grip on Skyler Bowlin (17 points and 5 out of 5 threes) and Jordan Hulls (13 points and 3 out of 3 threes) in the first half. However, all the other players helped their side produce successful attacking basketball and all ten of the Würzburg team had not only had time on court, but had also scored by the end of the first period. Yet the Basketball Lions were also very confident in attack and chalked up good shooting percentages, with the result that Würzburg’s advantage at half-time was just eight points. Both teams went in with the score standing at 49:57 after a spectacular buzzer beater by Skyler Bowlin from the center circle.

After the break, Victor Rudd and Florian Koch gave the club from Lower Franconia another double-digit lead (51:62 in the 22nd minute), but the home side hit back right away to produce a 12:3 run and so get within striking distance. Braunschweig now displayed greater aggression and energy in defense and one of the upshots of that was that s.Oliver Würzburg was hardly able to make any shots from downtown and Skyler Bowlin and Jordan Hulls scored just two points in the second half. At the same time, it also kept on setting up Scott Eatherton and Karim Jallow nicely at the board, while Jairus Lyles and Tommy Klepeisz were in accurate form from beyond the arc.

Just before the end of the third period, the Austrian international drained his fifth three to make it 69:70 in the 28th minute, but then the remainder of the quarter belonged to the visitors again. Youngster Joshua Obiesie brought it to an end with a bucket from outside (73:79). The game was then as good as decided in the first six minutes of the final period, in which s.Oliver Würzburg was unable to add any points apart from a three by Florian Koch, while the 17:3 spurt by Braunschweig left the visitors trailing by 90:82 in the 36th minute, a deficit they were no longer able to close.

17 of Braunschweig’s 27 points in the last period were scored by German international Karim Jallow and center Scott Eatherton, whereas hardly anything went right for s.Oliver Würzburg again in the final spell. “Braunschweig was aggressive and defended at a high level, and we really didn’t find any good solutions,” said Denis Wucherer after the encounter: “We kept on throwing the ball away at the wrong moments and so let them score 20 easy points on fast breaks.”

s.Oliver Würzburg has the chance to make amends in four days, when medi Bayreuth visits the s.Oliver Arena for a Franconian derby on Wednesday evening (tip-off: 7 p.m.). Tickets in all categories for the tenth home game of the season are still available in the online shop.