Audi Dome, Munich - "Firing on all cylinders" is a phrase used in sports when a team plays at its full potential. Bayern Basketball did just that in the first half Saturday night, building up a huge lead to extinguish Phoenix Hagen 100-81.
Chevon Troutman made an impressive debut with the team, scoring 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting. Je'Kel Foster also scored 23 points, in total five players scoring in double figures.
"We are satisfied that we won tonight," said head coach Dirk Bauermann. "Everyone witnessed the results from a full week of training without injuries or changes to our lineup, it did us good. We did a great job of keeping up the pace and intensity and we finally wore them down with our physicality."
(Editor's note: listen to the SOS Podcast with guest Bayern Basketball head coach Dirk Bauermann. Download here.)
The game began with Bayern giving up two quick baskets, then the home side went on a 19-0 run that effectively ended the game. Steffen Hamann sparked the rally with two drives to the hoop.
After Hagen called a timeout, Je'Kel Foster continued the run with a 3-pointer and another two field goals. A Phoenix basket briefly broke the Bayern the streak, but then Troutman added three consecutive buckets in the paint. The first quarter ended with a 27-11 lead for the Bavarians.
Troutman exemplified the physicality and the presence around the basket that led the team to victory, although he says play in the paint is not his usual style. "I came from a place where I had to force the issue (and score from everywhere)," explained Troutman of his past career. "It's a lot different to play with a lot of players who can go, makes it easier to play games like this."
Bayern continued to build the lead, as Bauermann rotated the entire team in and out of the game and by halftime, the lead was 52-24.
The stats that defined that score were simple: Bayern outshot Hagen 62%-33% and had 12 assists versus only 3 for the visitors. Phoenix turned over the ball 13 (!) times.
"My players were overwhelmed by the arena and fans," admitted Phoenix Hagen head coach Ingo Freyer. "They couldn't concentrate or give the intensity from the beginning. After the first few turnovers, we put our heads down and that was our problem. The first half turnovers was the difference."
However Freyer has to feel good about how his team reacted in the second half, only turning over the ball three times and outscoring Bayern 57-48 thanks to 19 second-half points from a suddenly unstoppable Jordan Hasquet.
Hasquet finished with 38 points, including seven three-pointers (Bayern as a team only had 5 total), that led all scorers.
The game however was never in doubt. The only suspense left at the end would be if Bayern would score 100 points and Jan-Hendrik Jagla scored the final basket of the game to reach the century mark.
"From the beginning we had our rhythm, defended very well, moved the ball around, everyone scored," said Robin Benzing, who poured in 16 points and looking fit after being hurt after the European championships in August.
He added, "we can be satisfied with our performance today and the most important thing we won."
Bayern Basketball travel to Oldenburg next weekend before returning home on Saturday, November 5th to host Ludwigsburg. Tip-off at 19:00 at the Audi Dome.