Ulm survives 2-overtime thriller in Ljubljana
ratiopharm Ulm blew a 21-point lead and then hung on through two overtimes to edge Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana 96-101 at Arena Stozice on Wednesday night. Jaron Blossomgame shined with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks and Semaj Christon tallied 24 points, 9 assists and 4 steals for Ulm, which won its second straight game to improve to 2-2. Thomas Klepeisz amassed 14 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, Cristiano Felicio posted 13 points and 10 boards and Karim Jallow had 10 and 7 for the winners. Jaka Blazic paced Cedevita with 26 points, Edo Muric tied his career-high with 21 and Jacob Pullen scored 20 on his birthday. Zach Auguste added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Melvin Ejim posted 10 and 8. The loss was Cedevita’s second in a row and dropped its record to 2-2.
Christon found Felicio open at the basket on a broken play for the game’s first points. Felicio added free throws and Blossomgame struck from downtown before Cedevita looked to shake things up with a pair of substitutions and a timeout. However, free throws by Klepeisz and Felicio and a fastbreak layup by Blossomgame made it 0-13. Blazic finally got the hosts on the scoreboard after nearly 4 minutes of action. One of the Cedevita subs, Muric, got the offense going with a triple and a layup, but Ulm extended the lead to 7-23 on threes by Blossomgame and a layup by Jallow. The margin hit 18 on a triple by Per Guenther before Ejim’s free throw ended the first quarter with Ulm in control 12-29.
Pullen opened the scoring for Cedevita in the second quarter before Muric and Pullen buried threes – both courtesy of Blazic assists – to trim the gap to 20-30. A timeout by Ulm did little to change the momentum as Blazic knocked down another Cedevita triple, completing an 11-1 start to the quarter. Ulm regained its composure with baskets by Christon and Klepeisz to make it 23-34 midway through the quarter. Christon netted a triple and a layup as Ulm reeled off 9 straight points. Fedor Zugic led a fastbreak attack and found Blossomgame for a three-point play that took the lead into the 20s. Ejim scored inside for the hosts and Blazic netted free throws to make it 31-48 at the break.
Pullen started the second half with a three-pointer-plus-foul and Cedevita forced a 24-second violation on the ensuing possession. Blazic added a jumper and Auguste dunked to complete a 7-0 run after which Ulm called timeout. A triple by Muric made it 41-49. Blossomgame revived Ulm with a dunk, but the momentum remained with the hosts. Auguste scored inside and Blazic and Pullen drilled threes to get within 49-51. Auguste dunked to tie it and was fouled on the next play and split free throws to complete a 21-3 charge and give Cedevita its first lead, 52-51. Zugic responded with a three for Ulm and then Blazic and Blossomgame traded triples. Blazic kept at it with an assist to Hodzic on the break and free throws of his own to end the third quarter with his team ahead 62-59.
Muric connected on his fourth three of the game and then made a layup to give Cedevita an 8-point advantage early in the fourth quarter. More than 4 and a half minutes passed before Klepeisz made a three for Ulm’s first points of the quarter. Ejim connected from the corner to put Cedevita up 70-62. Jallow scored the next 4 points for Ulm as Cedevita went cold. Blossomgame’s layup with 1:24 remaining in regulation tied the game at 70-70. Blazic put the hosts back in front with a free throw. Ulm missed twice before turning the ball over on the next possession, but Cedevita missed at the other end and Klepeisz raced down court and was fouled with 1 second on the clock. He made the first but missed the second and the game went to overtime.
Felicio struck first in the extra period with a bucket inside, a hook shot from the low post and a pair of defensive rebounds in between. Jallow added a runner, which prompted a Cedevita timeout with 2 minutes remaining. Ejim got the Cedevita tally moving and – after a jumper by Christon - Pullen converted a four-point play to bring the hosts within 77-79 with 1:21 on the clock. Christon responded with layup-plus-foul, but another three by Pullen made it a 1-point game. After Cedevita forced Jallow into a turnover, Cedevita raced down the floor to win it and – after Felicio blocked Pullen – Auguste grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.2 seconds left. He missed the first and made the second to tie it at 81-81 and Ulm could not get off a desperation shot in the remaining time, destining the game to a second overtime session.
Jallow scored the first basket of the second overtime and Blossomgame put Ulm up 5 with a triple. Jallow fouled out and Muric made the resulting free throws for the hosts. A put-back by Blossomgame and free throws by Klepeisz made it 83-90. Hodzic responded with a triple for Cedevita. Christon and Muric traded triples. Then Christon’s basket was followed by a Pullen layup. Blazic made it 93-95 with free throws with 33 seconds remaining. A jumper by Christon with 12.7 seconds remaining all but iced the win and a Cedevita turnover on the inbounds play ended the home team’s chances.
Cedevita's Ejim climbs the all-time rebounding ranks
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana forward Melvin Ejim continued his rise on the all-time charts with 8 rebounds in Wednesday’s double-overtime loss at the hands of ratiopharm Ulm. He became the 15th player in competition history to collect 400 rebounds and moved into a tie with Alex Mumbru for 14th place with 401 career boards. In doing so he leaped past Robertas Javtokas, Dijon Thompson and Loukas Mavrokefalidis. He needs 32 more rebounds to catch Oliver Stevic of Gran Canaria, who sits in 10th place with 433. Ejim also moved into 14th place with 294 defensive rebounds by leapfrogging Thompson. Mumbru is 10th with 307.
By the numbers: Cedevita hounded by shooting struggles
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana made just 15 of 42 two-point shots and the 35.7% success rate was the second-lowest in the history of the club. Its only worse shooting night came last season when the team was 8 of 29 (27.6%) in a game it won against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. Cedevita almost overcame that poor shooting this time too thanks to a club-record 16 three-pointers, but it also left too many points at the foul line. The hosts shot 18 for 27 on free throws. Ulm won the rebounding battle 46-53 and in doing so set a club record for rebounds in a game. Its previous best was 52 in an overtime win at Spirou Charleroi in October 2015.
Ulm makes double-double history
ratiopharm Ulm was 1 Semaj Christon assist away from becoming the first team in EuroCup history to have four players with double-doubles in a single game. As it stood, the double-doubles by Jaron Blossomgame (26 points, 11 rebounds), Thomas Klepeisz (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Cristiano Felicio (13 points, 10 rebounds) put Ulm on a shortlist of five teams to ever have three players with double-doubles in one game. Most recently was Darussafaka Istanbul in a victory against crosstown rival Galatasaray in January 2018. JaJuan Johnson posted 28 points and 12 rebounds, Howard Sant-Roos had 15 and 10 and Michael Eric 11 and 10. That team went on to win the EuroCup that season. The other three teams were Avtodor Saratov in a loss at Strasbourg in January 2016, Paris Levallois in an overtime loss against Telekom Bonn in December 2014 and Krasnye Krylia in a victory over Anwil Wloclawek in November 2010.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021