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Würzburg wins 118:71 against Szolnoki Olaj in the FIBA Europe Cup

Würzburg, 01-09-2019

That was more than a clear-cut affair: s.Oliver Würzburg took the wind out of Szolnoki Olaj’s sails in the first period thanks to aggressive defense, built a 32-point cushion by half-time and ran out winners by the wide and deserved margin of 118:71 at home against the Hungarian champions on Wednesday.

It was not a start-to-finish victory against the reigning double winners from Hungary, who were without their top scorer, the Serbian player Strahinja Milosevic, in the s.Oliver Arena in Würzburg: The Montenegrin Nemanja Milosevic put his side 0:1 in front in the 2nd minute. However, the visitors’ only lead lasted just 18 seconds: After a pass from Skyler Bowlin, Xavier Cooks drained the first of his total of five buckets from outside to make it 3:1. That was the start of 38 minutes in which a lot of things clicked excellently for s.Oliver Würzburg at both ends of the court on its way to one of the highest wins in the club’s history.

Through aggressive defending with a lot of pressure right in the opposing half, the home side repeatedly forced the visitors from Hungary into making mistakes and conceding turnovers and moved the ball very well in attack, finishing up with 33 assists on the stat sheet. “I was able to score a lot of points today because my teammates kept on finding me,” said top scorer Xavier Cooks afterwards: “We drove into the paint well and passed the ball nicely. I simply had to be in the right place and then make the shot.” The Australian notched up 15 of his 25 points in the first half, in which s.Oliver Würzburg got into its stride and in spells dominated the visitors at will. The club from Lower Franconia stretched its lead to double digits for the first time after five minutes (20:9) and then scored 37 points up to the end of the first period, adding another 30 in the second quarter. Both teams went in at half-time with the score at 67:35 – and it was already clear that not much would probably happen to change the final outcome.

And so it proved: Despite its large lead, the home side kept up its intensity in the third period and began the second half with a run of seven points without reply to make it 74:35 in the 23rd minute and seal victory. A bucket from beyond the arc by youngster Joshua Obiesie extended the gap to 45 points at the end of the quarter (97:52), and s.Oliver Würzburg started the final period with a 7:0 run, with Florian Koch bringing up the 100 points by burying a three.

Even after s.Oliver Würzburg captured its highest lead of the game in the 32nd minute (104:52 – 52 points), it hardly slackened its efforts and also took the fourth period, in which Badu Buck (seven points) was the twelfth and last player to get on the scoresheet. Würzburg’s third win means that it tops Group I halfway through the group stage and could secure its ticket for the last sixteen of the FIBA Europe Cup with a victory on the road in Pristina on January 23.