The 2012-13 Eurocup season opened with a true thriller as s. Oliver Baskets, with the help from its fans in Wurzburg, Germany, rallied from behind all game long to claim an 81-77 victory over visiting Azovmash Mariupol of Ukraine on Tuesday. With only a six-game regular season, it was a key victory in Group D for the debutants from Wurzburg. Dwayne Anderson led the winners with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds plus a huge block in the final minute. He was followed by Lamont McIntosh with 13 points, John Little and Jimmy McKinney with 10 each, and Ben Jacobsen, who scored all of his 8 points in the final 5 minutes. Wurzburg led only once in the first three quarters, on Anderson's buzzer-beater going into halftime, but fell behind by 9 points again to Azovmash as Lynn Greer was scoring 16 of his 25 points in the third quarter. The visitors got 20 more from Miroslav Raduljica and 10 from Manny Harris, but were outgunned 39-26 in the game's last 15 minutes.
Azovmash stayed one step ahead of the hosts with a 2-7 starting run capped by Ivan Paunic's three-pointer. After Little's 3 points the hard way got Wurzburg within 8-9, the visitors blasted off on another 1-7 run capped by another triple-shot from downtown this one by Harris. Wurzburg got a basket back from Anderson before the quarter ended 11-16. That spark carried over for the hosts as it took them little more than a minute of the second quarter pull within 17-18, on a layup-plus-free throw by Rodney Stuckey. Again, Azovmash pulled away with Raduljica sparking a 2-9 run that Tadija Dragicevic ended from downtown. Wurzburg counter-punched to get back within 26-29 before Raduljica seemed to sentence the half in his team's favor with 4 free throws to make it 26-33, but Wurzburg had other ideas. McIntosh's second three-pointer was followed by Anderson scoring the quarter's last 5 points, including a triple on the buzzer for Wurzburg's first lead of the night, 34-33, heading to the break.
Greer took back the lead for Azovmash with an awesome show to start the second half. He scored the first 5 points on a two- and three-pointer combo, and after Little interrupted him, repeated the sequence, a personal 2-10 run to vault the visitors ahead 36-43. The teams traded baskets until Dragicevic and Greer upped the difference to 42-51. But Wurzburg was not going away, and scored 9 of the next 11 points, finishing with a McIntosh bomb to pull within 51-53. Azovmash got it back to a six-point difference, 53-59, on Paunic's next triple, but McIntosh finished the quarter with free throws to make it 57-61. The hosts made their move early in the fourth, following Stuckey's 6 point outburst to a new lead before McKinney scored 5 in a row to make it 70-65. When Raduljica and Greer returned to get Azovmash back to within 71-69, a triple from Ben Jacobson - the seventh Wurzburg shooter to hit from the arc - forced a timeout from the visitors. Azovmash got as close as 4 points on a layup by Harris that made it 78-74 with 1:37 left. But Anderson registered a huge block at the defensive end leading to a basket by Jacobson. Greer buried a triple with 27 seconds left to cut the difference to 80-77 but after a free throw by Alex King made it a two-possession game, another Greer triple missed and Wurzburg fans celebrated their team's first-ever Eurocup victory.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012