Bayern Basketball win tough road test, 100-90
Sporthalle Stadtmitte, Kirchheim unter Teck - Jonathan Wallace scored 17 of his game high 31 points in the 4th quarter and Bastian Doreth drilled a key three-pointer with 2:34 left as Bayern held off the VfL Kirchheim Knights 100-90. Bayern's win moves them up to the top of table of the ProA second league, tied with Würzburg.
In front of an over-capacity crowd of 1300 screaming fans, both teams came out fast and furious, matching baskets and intensity. Bayern took leads of 25-21 after the 1st quarter and 48-39 at the half. The only difference between the two teams was on the hustle scoreboard: FCB outrebounded the Knights 22-8 overall, 12-4 on the offensive end that led to many second chance points for the visitors. Defensively, Bayern focused on Kirchheim's leading scoring threats Cedric Brooks and Gordon Scott, limiting them to only 8 points and 6 points, respectively, in the first half.
"I thought we played well early," said Bayern head coach Dirk Bauermann. "We knew that they were not a good rebounding team defensively. So we wanted get the ball inside on a consistent basis and crash the offensive glass."
At the start of the 3rd quarter, the scoring pace continued on both ends of the floor. After scoring only 5 points and struggling from the floor in the 1st half, Wallace heated up in the 3rd, hitting two 3's and scoring on a fastbreak layup during a 12-3 run as FCB took a 67-51 lead with 3:26 left. But the Knights did not fold, as they took advantage of missed free-throws by their guests and cut the lead in half. Aleksandar Nadjfeji stopped the Kirchheim mini-run with a dunk at the end of the quarter to keep Munich up by 10.
In the final frame, the fireworks went up a notch. A couple of calls that went against the Knights on both sides of the floor got the crowd and their coach Frankie Ignatovic in a frenzy. Ignatovic earned two technical fouls and an ejection for his complaints and the ensuing Bayern free-throws and possession increased the lead to 15 with around 7 minutes left. Kirchheim responded however, going on a 16-7 run to bring the home side back to within 87-81 with 3:31 left thanks to Brooks' and Scott's hot hands - they scored 18 points combined in the 4th. Bayern turned the ball over and Brooks took an open three and finally missed.
Doreth took the deciding trey on the other side that put Bayern up 90-81. Beckham Wyrick got the final field goal fittingly on another offensive rebound to extend the lead to 92-81. FCB then hit free-throws the rest of the way, including seven straight to stave off the final Knights rally.
"I am very proud of my team," stated Ignatovic after the match. "We knew they would be tough but we didn't give up and gave Munich a battle to the end. (My team) earned my respect with how they responded after my disqualification."
Brooks ended the night with 22 points and Scott poured in 21 including a 3-pointer off the glass at the end, typifying their hot shooting all night. But they could not overcome two major stats - Bayern outrebounded the home side 40-21 and Wallace hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Nadjfeji, who finished with 18 points mainly on those second chances and added 4 rebounds and 4 assists, said the team still has a lot to work on. "We feel like every victory is really important for us and we feel good tonight. But we can't allow the teams to get back, we need to step on them and take away any chance that they think they can win. The crowd made the game really tough and tight, at the end I'm glad we played great to overcome their shots."
"We saw a sensational match with a high-level offensive performance," added Bauermann. "Kirchheim worked hard with unbelievable intensity and unconscious shooting. That gave us a lot of problems and for us to win here by 10 points is special. I'm happy that we were able to win and put this game behind us."
Bayern return home this coming Saturday as they host the Crailsheim Merlins. 80 tickets remain for the game. The following home game against Osnabruck on December 11th is sold-out. The final home game before the holiday break is Monday, December 20th versus Paderborn and there are about 200 tickets still available.