Oldenburg survives late Brescia rally
EWE Baskets Oldenburg held on late to defeat Germani Brescia Leonessa 89-84 and also capture the important head-to-head tiebreak advantage between them. The victory, which was Oldenburg's sixth in a row at Grosse EWE Arena, left all four teams in Group F tied with 2-2 records. Brescia edged Oldenburg 70-67 in Round 3 and – after trailing by as many as 15 – rallied to within 2 in the final minute. Rasid Mahabasic's three-point play secured the win and a missed three by Brescia's Kenneth Horton kept the tiebreaker with Oldenburg, too. Rickey Paulding paced the winners with a season-high 22 points, Mahabasic tallied 16 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists. Braydon Hobbs added 15 – all in the first half – on 5-of-9 three-point shooting and Armani Moore scored 13. Awudu Abass led the Brescia attack with 21 points, DeAndre Lansdowne scored 14 and Kenneth Horton posted 13 points and 8 rebounds in defeat.
The Oldenburg faithful had what to cheer about from the start as Hobbs started the scoring with a trio of three-pointers. Luca Vitali finally got Brescia on the scoreboard, but Oldenburg continued to roll and took the lead to double figures, 16-4, on Paulding's fastbreak slam. Travis Trice came off the bench and hit a floater in his debut for Brescia, which closed the gap to 20-11. Moore beat the buzzer with a turnaround jumper to make it 26-14 after 10 minutes. The teams traded baskets early in the second quarter, with Kenneth Horton carrying the offensive load for the visitors. A three by Moore made it 38-25 midway through the second quarter. Abass came alive with 5 points in a 0-7 Brescia run to get back in the game. After a timeout, Philipp Schwethelm drained a three-pointer to get Oldenburg back on course. Ojars Silins's first basket narrowed the gap to 43-35. Hobbs finished the half the way he started it, with more three-pointers, to fix the halftime score at 52-37.
Brian Saccetti helped Brescia get going in the second half. Despite strong play by Paulding, Abass connected twice from downtown to bring the visitors within 58-53. Tyler silenced the Oldenburg support with a basket-plus-foul. Paulding scored 7 quick points to give Oldenburg some breathing room at 67-58. Andrea Zerini and Trice responded with threes as Brescia refused to go away. Free throws by Larson gave Oldenburg a 76-66 advantage at the end of the third quarter. Triples by Abass and Horton kept Brescia in the hunt at 81-74. Lansdown missed from downtown and Oldenburg regained control through Mahalbasic. Horton free throws gave Brescia hope at 86-80 with 1 minute remaining, with the tiebreaker also coming in to pay. Vitali's steal set up Horton for a layup and Zerini free throws made it 86-84 with 12.2 seconds remaining. Mahalbasic drove for a basket-plus-foul with 6.4 seconds remaining that secured the victory and Horton missed a three at the buzzer that ensured the hosts captured the tiebreaker as well.
Rasid Mahalbasic not only put up the big numbers, but he also scored the key basket late. The Oldenburg center finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals for a performance index rating of 28. It marked his 13th straight game with a PIR of at least 12 and his 10th straight game with at least 12 points. After Brescia rallied to within 2 in the final seconds - a score that would have given the visitors the head-to-head tiebreaker, Mahalbasic countered with a clutch basket-plus-foul that secured the victory and the tiebreaker.
Brescia outpointed Oldenburg in terms of performance index rating 98-99, but was undone by its 16 turnovers, which matched its number of assists. Oldenburg produced 25 assists with just 10 turnovers and those extra 6 possessions were valuable in such a close game. In point off turnovers, Oldenburg outscored Brescia 20-11.
Top 25 scorer
Rickey Paulding's 22 points were not only a season-high, but they propelled him onto the list of the top 25 scorers in EuroCup history. Paulding now has 920 career points, which places him 24th all-time. He needs 31 more points to reach 20th place, which is held by David Logan. Paulding is sixth among active players.
Both of these teams will be on the road in Top 16 Round 5 on Wednesday, February 5. Brescia will visit Promitheas Patras, while Oldenburg heads to Italy for a showdown with Umana Reyer Venice.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020