EWE Baskets Oldenburg wins a thriller in Ljubljana
In a thriller that went down to the final second, Vaughn Duggins hit a game-winning shot to lift the visiting EWE Basket Oldenburg over Union Olimpija Ljubljana 81-82 on Wednesday night. Oldenburg led and controlled things for 34 minutes, and held 64-78 advantage when Olimpija put together a 17-2 run to take the lead. But Duggins scored what turned out to be a game-winner with 9 seconds to go, improving Oldenburg to 2-3 record, same as Olimpija and Telekom Baskets Bonn in a share of the fourth place in Group A. Brian Qvale paced the visitors in victory with 21 points, shooting perfect 10 of 10 for two points. Duggins finished with 19 points, and Klemen Prepelic against his old team shot 4-for-6 from downtown for 12 points. For Olimpija, Ronalds Zakis had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Miha Lapornik and Sava Lesic each scored 13, and Zach Wright finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, but missed a game-winning attempt in the final seconds.
Zakis and Qvale scored two baskets apiece to open the scoring, before Prepelic hit from long range to give Oldenburg 4-8. Blaz Mahkovic and Zakis made baskets for the hosts, but Qvale scored on three consecutive possessions, then assisted Rickey Paulding to make it 10-16. Lesic had a put-back for Olimpija, but not before Duggins started his own personal run with a fastbreak basket, then added a pair of put-backs that made it 16-24 at the end of first. Duggins continued his run in the second, opening up a 10-point margin, but Olimpija answered with 6 straight points, including a put-back from Zakis. A triple by Luka Rupnik cut the deficit to 25-28. Midway through the second, Rupnik's basket got the hosts within 29-30, but Robin Smeulders scored 5 points, including a basket-plus-foul, followed by Qvale scoring on back-to-back possessions, as his three-point play opened 31-40. In the final minutes of the half, Lapornik and Duggins traded three-pointers, as Oldenburg went into the break with 36-43 advantage.
Olimpija started really strong into the third quarter, and consecutive fast breaks from Wright and Mitja Nikolic cut it to 43-45. But Scott Machado hit from long range, and Smeulders added a basket of his to help Oldenburg pull away again, 43-51. Wright and Lesic helped Olimpija cut into the deficit, but Nemanja Aleksandrov nailed a three-pointer, 47-56. Lapornik answered in the same fashion, and Sasa Zagorac helped the hosts keep in range, 54-60. Philipp Schwethelm hit a triple, providing the visitors with some breathing room, and Paulding scored at the end of the quarter, making it 58-65 after 30 minutes. In the fourth, Prepelic buried a three-pointer, but Rupnik had a steal that led to a fastbreak basket, 63-68. However, two more triples from Prepelic and a pair of basket from Qvale, assisted by Machado, opened 64-78 lead. But, that’s when Zakis strung together 6 points, and Lapornik helped cut it to 73-80 with over 3 minutes to go. Mahkovic made a pair of foul shots, then used Oldenburg’s turnover to score 14 seconds later again, and get Olimpija within 77-80. Olimpija made couple more defensive stands, and with baskets from Lapornik and Wright took the lead, 81-80 with 53 seconds on the clock. Oldenburg scored only one basket in almost 6 minutes, and Olimpija had another possession to add to its 17-2 run, but Lapornik missed a triple with only a point separating two teams. It gave another chance to Oldenburg, and with 9 seconds to go, Duggins made a basket on the other end. Olimpija did have another possession, but Wright missed his attempt and Oldenburg prevailed.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015