Ulm turns tables to top Mornar
In a roller-coaster battle to open Group B, ratiopharm Ulm stormed back from double-digit deficits to stop visiting Mornar Bar 84-76 in Group B on Wednesday. A 30-11 third quarter gave Ulm its first lead in minute 29, and the hosts finished their second-half explosion with style. A pair of EuroCup rookies, Dylan Osetkowski and Troy Caupain, paced the big comeback. Ostetkowski had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists while Caupain combined 18 points with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Andreas Obst added 11 points and John Petrucelli 10 to Ulm's cause. Isaiah Whitehead poured in 25 for Mornar, which had led by 14 at halftime. Jacob Pullen added 15 while Kenny Gabriel had 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists for the visitors.
Pullen, Gabriel and Whitehead strung together 17 points as Mornar raced to an 11-24 advantage in 7 minutes against the hosts, who struggled with 5 early turnovers. Osetkowski and Per Guenther ended Ulm's nearly four-minute drought, but Taylor Smith's dunk kept Mornar in charge, 15-26, after 10 minutes. Petrucelli had 5 points in a row as Ulm scored the first 9 of the second quarter, closing the gap to 24-26. Whitehead took over then with 2 triples, an assist on another, and a block, rocketing Mornar's lead back to double digits, 29-39. He was back for another basket as Mornar pulled into halftime ahead 32-46 on Sead Sehovic's buzzer-beating triple. Obst drilled 2 triples and Petrucelli another as Ulm opened the third quarter with an 11-2 charge to get within 43-48. Osetkowski kept it going until Aric Holman hit from deep and Guenther forged a tie at 52-52. Gabriel and Whitehead responded for the visitors at 52-57, but Osetkowski soon hit back-to-back triples for a Ulm's first lead of the night and a 62-57 lead after three quarters. Osetkowski returned to the arc and Christoph Philipps followed him as Ulm built a 71-62 edge midway through the final quarter. Everything kept falling for Ulm as Ostekowski's tip-in made it 79-62 with 3 minutes left. Whitehead fought back with some points to cut the difference, but by then the win was clearly staying in Ulm.
Second-year pro Dylan Osetkowski was the revelation for Ulm in his first EuroCup game, not least because of his versatility as a 2.06-meter center. Ulm was only kept getting close before he stepped outside for back-to-back triples late in the third quarter, giving his team its first lead, which it never relinquished. His 6 assists matched the game-high and his 8 rebounds were second-best. It all added up to a 26 PIR, but it was Osetkowski's showing up in the key moments that proved decisive for Ulm.
In a game of runs, Ulm trailed by 13 in the first quarter, got back within a basket, then fell back by 14 at the half, 32-46. Ulm turned the tables with 6 of 7 three-point shooting in a 30-point third quarter in which the hosts took their first lead after 29 minutes. Altogether, after a 32-46 first half, Ulm outscored Mornar 52-30 in the second.
After going 2-for-11 from deep in the first half, Ulm decided it could not miss, hitting 10 of 15 after the break to run away with the show. Likewise, the hosts coughed up 5 turnovers in the game's first 6 minutes, but limited themselves to 7 in the final 34, another key to victory.
Whitehead's takeover run
After Ulm's 9-0 run to start the second quarter made it 24-26, Isaiah Whitehead took charge. He had 10 points, including 2 triples, a block, a steal and an assist on another triple as Mornar restored a 32-46 lead at halftime, it's biggest of the night. He finished as the game's high scorer with 25 points.
In Round 2, Ulm hits the road to meet Germani Brescia of Italy next Wednesday. The night before that, Mornar takes it home to Bar, Montenegro to take on mighty Unicaja Malaga.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020