Oldenburg walks tall into Top 16!
EWE Baskets Oldenburg took the high road into the Top 16 from Group D with a club-record-setting 108-88 home win over Dolomiti Energia Trento on Wednesday. The victory lifted the winners to a 5-3 record despite a 0-3 start in the group. Oldenburg trailed by double digits early and by 44-46 after 20 minutes before exploding for 64 second-half points to cover the nine-point difference it needed to assure its place in the Top 16. Tyler Larson was the big gun for Oldenburg, with 31 points. Gerry Blakes added 21, Ricky Paulding 18, Rasid Mahalbasic 17 and Nathan Boothe 11. For Trento, James Blackmon poured in 25 points while Justin Knox had 15, Alessandro Gentile 13, Andrea Mezzanotte 12 and Toto Forray 10.
Offensive rebounds sent Trento ahead early as Mezzanotte and Knox were hot, combining for 16 points in a quick 9-18 start. Blackmon's triple supplied a double-digit lead for the guests and George King copied him as it reached 19-28. Larson stole and finished a three-point play to keep Oldenburg within 22-28 after 10 minutes. Larson and Boothe cut the difference to 26-28 early in the second quarter, setting the stage for Paulding to hit a go-ahead triple at 33-32. The hosts stayed a step ahead with 4 free throws by Boothe until Blackmon and Forray drilled back-to-back three-pointers to flip the scoreboard at 39-42. Larson tied it up in one shot for Oldenburg, but Blackmon's 4 points let Trento enter halftime ahead by 44-46. Paulding and Boothe detonated triples as Oldenburg opened the third quarter with 9-2 run to a 53-48 lead. Rasid Mahalbasic and Boothe lengthened that difference to 57-50. Boothe kept it going until Blakes hit twice from deep at 69-61. Rashard Kelly and Fabio Mian reeled it back with 3 points each for Trento, but Paulding answered and Oldenburg stayed up 74-69 after 30 minutes. Larson unfurled 6 quick points and Paulding scored inside to jack the lead up to 83-71 early in the fourth. Trento went completely cold and Larson punished the visitors with a triple that Mahalbasic matched with a steal leading to a three-point play at 89-71. Free throws from Gentile was all that Trento could muster in response. Not only did Oldenburg stay ahead, but Larson hit a rainbow triple and Blakes stole for a breakaway layup to cover the difference that Oldenburg needed to enter early into the Top 16.
In just his third game with Oldenburg, Tyler Larson came up with one big shot after another and ended up shattering the club's single-game scoring record in its fifth EuroCup season. He hit 8 of 11 two-point shots, 4 of 6 threes and 3 of 4 free throws to finish with 31 points, five more than Oldenburg's previous best.
It was a 48-48 scoreboard shortly after halftime when Rasid Mahalbasic and Nathan Boothe went to work with 5 points each in little more than 2 minutes to give the hosts a 57-50 lead. They unleashed the Oldenburg offense to keep scoring enough to pile up 64 second-half points and win going away.
Oldenburg posted several club records in its 52nd EuroCup game over five seasons. Those 108 points were 12 more than its previous best in the competition and its team performance index rating of 126 was 10 above Oldenburg's best mark until now. Its 30 two-point shots made was not only a another club record but tied for the second best in the EuroCup this season.
Did you notice?
Its five victories in a row establishes a new record winning streak for Oldenburg in its fifth EuroCup season. It had previously won four in a row in the 2013-14 season, but missed the second phase. Even when it reached the eighthfinals in the 2015-16 and finished 9-9, Oldenburg did not win more than three games in succession
After a two-week break in the regular season, Oldenburg hits the road to face already-qualified Group D leader Unicaja Malaga (6-2) in Round 9 on Tuesday, December 10. Trento will return to the road one night later to face Asseco Arka Gdynia and try to keep its Top 16 hopes on course.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019