Olympia Eissportzentrum - Jonathan Wallace scored 28 points as Bayern Basketball strengthened their hold at the top of the ProA table with a 96-68 win over the Osnabrück GiroLive Ballers. Steffen Hamann returned to his home court for the first time since being injured in the opener and added 15 points and 5 assists.
Hamann and Wallace helped Bayern jump out to a 7-0 lead right after tip-off, held the visitors without a field goal for the first five and a half minutes, and they never looked back. Bayern continued to build their lead thanks to their hot shooting from beyond the arc, 12-for-26 as a team.
Bayern did dominate the hustle-board as well as the scoreboard: FG percentage of 56-42%, rebounds 36-25, assists 17-9 - all in home team's favor.
"We had a great defensive effort against a strong offensive team, right from the tip. They are a team that can score, we never let them find their rhythm," said head coach Dirk Bauermann. "We were satisfied with our energy, quality and focus in our game, on both ends."
Jevohn Shepherd seemed to be the only one "ballin' " for Osnabruck, scoring 25 points. 13 of which came in a 3rd quarter when it seemed he was a one man show. Ballers' leading scorer Tim Burnette scored 10 points, half of his season average and was rendered ineffective the entire night by the swarming Bayern defense.
Osnabrück head coach Marko Simic looked at the poor shooting performance of his club - 1-for-11 from 3pt range - and could only shake his head. "We didn't get any easy shots. Bayern is a great example of how teams in the league should play defense. Bayern played solid tonight, they deserved to win."
A day after his birthday, Bauermann was pleased with how the team has stayed on course despite the pressure of promotion. "This was a statement game for us," explained Bauermann. "We have to win these types of games, as we are at home, and if you can you want to dominate and send a strong message to the league, that winning this ProA championship is very important to us. But we will celebrate after we have reached our goal."
Table-topping Bayern travel to bottom-of-the-table Cuxhaven Baskets for a Friday night special. Bayern return home on Monday, December 20th to take on Paderborn for the last match before the winter break. Tip-off at 19:30.