MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg stays alive after road win at Zielona Gora
A monster game by Jon Brockman and clutch free-throw shooting by Rocky Trice and Tekele Cotton paved the way as MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg edged Stelmet Zielona Gora 76-81. Ludwigsburg improved to 2-3, which is the same record as Zielona Gora, but the Polish champs hold the tiebreak advantage between the two thanks to a 9-point victory in Round 1 in Germany. Jon Brockman posted 19 point and 17 rebounds, while Trice added 14 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals, Royce O’Neale scored 11 and Cotton 10. Trice posted 10 first-quarter points to help the visitors to a small lead before a 0-8 second-quarter push made it a double-digit Ludwigsburg lead. Zielona Gora rallied to tie it and only trailed by 2 at halftime. After Ludwigsburg restored a double-digit lead, Zielona Gora roared late and came within 1 on a Mateusz Ponitka triple in the final minute, but free throws by Trice and Cotton sealed the Ludwigsburg victory. Vlad Moldoveanu led Zielona Gora with 17 points, Ponitka added 16 plus 9 rebounds and Dejan Boronjak added 10 points.
Trice put Ludwigsburg on the scoreboard with a put-back and Moldoveanu netted the hosts’ first basket. After Trice buried a three to put the visitors ahead, Lukasz Koszarek tied it and Boronjak’s layup gave Zielona Gora its first lead, 9-7. Trice responded with a second triple as the lead continued to switch sides. Adam Hrycaniuk split free throws to tie it at 14-14. A pair of Trice free throws and an O’Neale triple gave Ludwigsburg a 16-21 advantage after 10 minutes. Nemanja Djurusic opened the second quarter with a three, but back-to-back triples from Kerron Johnson and Cotton sparked a 0-8 Ludwigsburg run for its first double-digit lead, 19-29. Borovnjak tried to revive Zielona Gora with free throws, but Adam Waleskowski netted a put-back and a three-pointer to further extend the lead. Free throws by Johnson made it 23-36 midway through the quarter. Free throws by Moldoveanu, Ponitka and Szymon Szewczyk closed the deficit to 6. Karol Gruszecki scored next for the hosts before Moldoveanu added more free throws. Then Szewczyk tied the game at 40-40 with a three-pointer. Free throws by Alvaro Munoz-Borchers gave Ludwigsburg a 42-44 halftime edge.
Moldoveanu and Cotton traded threes early in the second half, but O’Neal added another before Brad Loesing put Ludwigsburg up 47-54. Koszarek hit from deep and Moldoveanu added a second three to bring Zielna Gora within 53-56. Brockman’s put-back triggered a Ludwigsburg run that saw O’Neale nail his third three and Johnson add a layup to restore a 10-point cushion. Dee Bost made it 55-63 after 10 minutes. Brockman continued to dominate the offensive glass with a pair of second-chance buckets, but a three by Bost showed Zielona Gora still had fight left in it. After a Djurusic triple, Borovnjak scored the next 4 points to cut the gap to 67-70 with five minutes remaining, but Zielona Gora missed its next six shots. A steal and layup by Cotton pushed the Ludwigsburg lead up to 6 with just under two minutes to go. Ponitka finished off a three-chance possession with a score and Bost split free throws to close the gap to 71-74 in the final minute and then got the hosts to 73-75. Trice – with his first points since the first quarter – made it a two-possession game from the line, but a Ponitka triple got Zielona Gora within 1. However he was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul when he tried to stop the clock and send Cotton to the line. Cotton made the resulting free throws and Trice added 2 more on the bonus possession to seal the victory.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016