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s.Oliver Würzburg defeats Crailsheim to capture its fifth straight win in the German league

Würzburg, 02-09-2019

A successful start to the “Red Week” for s.Oliver Würzburg: On the 20th game day of the easyCredit German Basketball League, the team of Head Coach Denis Wucherer chalked up its fifth win in the domestic competition in a row by beating newly promoted HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim by 87:75 (43:38).

The very first period indicated that s.Oliver Würzburg would have quite a bit of work to do to capture its ninth win of the season: “Crailsheim had prepared very well for us, played with a lot of energy and never gave up,” said Wucherer afterwards.

The visitors were also in accurate shooting form, especially from the arc: Konrad Wysocki and Ben Madgen drained three buckets from downtown in the opening spell to put their team ahead early on (11:17 in the 6th minute). s.Oliver Würzburg then got a better grip on the visitors’ shooters in the final phase of the first period, and Jordan Hulls with a lay-up and two threes in succession helped it snatch the lead before end of the quarter (21:20). The lead also changed hands several times in the second ten minutes, before s.Oliver Würzburg – mainly thanks to nine points by Cameron Wells – was able to carve out a small advantage by the break (43:38).

Wucherer: “You have to be patient against Crailsheim.”

The home side came out with a great deal of energy after the break. Skyler Bowlin twice stole possession and both times Xavier Cooks finished spectacularly after a pass from Bowlin. A bucket from outside by Bowlin to bring up the first double-digit lead in the 23rd minute (52:41) was also the result of a steal by Gabriel Olaseni.

Yet the “Wizards from Hohenlohe” did not let themselves be disconcerted by falling behind, stepped up their intensity in defense again, and fought their way back into the game with free throws and accurate shooting from downtown (a 3-point field goal percentage of 48). Joschka Ferner and Joseph Lawson drained two threes at the end of the third period to close the deficit to one point (61:60). “Experience shows this season that you have to be patient in games against Crailsheim. They have a lot of talent and firepower in the team. You have to grind them down somehow and work hard for the win,” said Wucherer.

And his team managed to do that with a strong spell in the final period: After Frank Turner put Crailsheim 61:62 in front from the foul line, s.Oliver Würzburg only conceded one three – from Michael Cuffee – in the next six minutes to pull 81:65 ahead by the 37th minute – with an alley-oop dunk by Devin Oliver to crown its spurt superbly. Although the visitors forced several turnovers after a timeout and were able to fight their way back to 81:72, that was not enough to prevent Würzburg’s ninth win in a row in all competitions. The “Red Week” of home games continues with the encounter against BG Göttingen on Tuesday (tip-off: 8:30 p.m.). Würzburg then faces its last game before the break for internationals on Thursday when it welcomes ratiopharm Ulm to the s.Oliver Arena (tip-off likewise at 8:30 p.m.).