Ulm storms into Top 16 with road win!
Using a spectacular takeover run early in the game and never letting up, ratiopharm Ulm defeated host Germani Brescia Leonessa by 80-97 on Wednesday to seize the last Top 16 berth from Group A. The victory lifted Ulm to 5-5 for the regular season and dropped Brescia to 3-7. Ulm was behind 12-8 when Izmet Akpinar's triple started an amazing 0-18 takeover run that led to a 17-28 first quarter lead. Ulm then scored the first 10 points of the second to basically put the game out of reach. Patrick Miller led the winners with 23 points, 7 assists and 5 steals. Dwayne Evans added 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Akpinar scored 16. Jordan Hamilton was stellar for Brescia, with 27 points and 7 rebounds, while Jared Cunningham followed him with 16.
Hamilton 5 early points gave Brescia a 10-6 advantage but Akpinar hit the game's first triple as Ulm closed the gap to 12-11. A four-point possession due to an unsportsmanlike foul let Bogdan Radosavljevic push Ulm up by 12-15. Then Evans and Ryan Thompson kicked it up a notch, extending the run into a 0-18 storm that put the visitors up 12-26. Cunningham ended the Brescia drought with 5 points that got the hosts within 17-28 after 10 minutes. While Brescia continued missing from deep, Maximilian Ugrai and Per Guenther hit triples before Javonte Green detonated a fastbreak slam in a 10-0 start to the second quarter for a 17-38 lead. Ulm's defensive pressure kept the lead hovering around 20 points until Hamilton and Gerald Beverly reacted to cut the difference to 33-47. Miller hit 2 fastbreak layups for Ulm to finish the first half ahead by 35-51. Akpinar struck from deep as Ulm's lead returned to 21 points with the first 5 points after halftime. When Jordan canned a triple for the hosts, Miller answered, too, and the difference soon hit a high of 40-64. Hamilton scored 8 points in an 11-4 Brescia run to get closer but Ulm still led 57-73 after 30 minutes. Brescia got with 13 points for the first time on a triple by Awudu Abass, but soon Akpinar was matching him to make it 66-84. Time was too short then and Brescia needed a miracle that did not come.
Brescia led 12-8 before a triple by Ismet Akpinar started an amazing 0-18 takeover run for Ulm that led to a 17-28 first-quarter lead. Ulm then scored the first 10 points of the second quarter. Brescia didn't get closer than 14 points after that.
The early threes decided
By the time that Ulm had raced ahead by 21 points, 17-38, the visitors had made 5 of 10 triples while Brescia was 1 for 9 on its home-court rims. Both teams ended the game 9 of 26 from downtown, but the early difference held for Ulm.
Movers and shakers
Ismet Akpinar and Patrick Miller ran their team to perfection from the backcourt, combining for 39 points and 10 assists.
Game of runs, all Ulm's
It was a game of runs, but they mostly belonged to the visitors. Besides the decisive 0-18 surge in the first quarter, they started the second one 0-10 and the third one 0-5. Taken together, that 0-32 worth of unanswered points were too much for Brescia to overcome.
Ulm returns to the second phase for the fifth time in six EuroCup seasons, after having missed it last year. The German club will join Group F of the Top 16 to play Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and familiar face Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018