Ludwigsburg Lose in Munich
Audi Dome, Munich – When asked if his team would finally win at home this week, Bayern Basketball head coach Yannis Christopolous answered simply, “we want to win every game.”
But after Bayern’s 81-69 win vs. Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg earning his team their first home win this season, one could sense the relief in Christopolous‘ face. After two different types of losses at home, the new coach could also celebrate his first victory on home court.
The key to the game was the return of Bayern’s trademark defense that created turnovers, bad passes, shot clock violations – every kind of turnover possible – by visiting Ludwigsburg. Along with pure steals, FCB were able to get easy buckets on the other end.
Bayern started off the game with a 9-0 run after giving up opening free throws, and ended the first quarter with a 7-0 run to take a 24-16 lead. Yotam Halperin sparked the run with a steal and an easy lay-in.
In the second quarter, Neckar cut the lead down to 29-23, Bayern went on an 8-0 run thanks to Brandon Thomas’ pair of treys sandwiching another Halperin steal and score. But Ludwigsburg, a team Christopoulos warned was a dangerous team, started chipping away and countered with a 12-0 run. The home side were able to hold on to a 40-39 lead after Kammron Taylor’s drive and hoop at the end of the half. Taylor came in leading his team averaging 19 points per game, but that was his first… and only bucket.
Then came the mother of all runs. Halperin set the pace again, another steal – he finished with five on the night, but this time he was fouled before he could convert. He knocked down both free throws. But Bayern wheels were turning and there was no way Ludwigsburg could escape the next minutes.
Bucket Chevon Troutman. Three-pointer Robin Benzing. Another basket Benzing. 9-0 run. Timeout Neckar.
Bucket again by Chevy. Halperin free throws. 24-second shot clock violation by Neckar. Jared Homan, score. Rice with a shot, good. 8-0 run. Timeout Neckar.
After Chevy’s third shot made during the 19-0 run, the score stood 59-39. Ludwigsburg finally scored with 3:01 left in the third quarter. But the damage was done. Munich outscored their guests 28-8 and the game was effectively over.
“When you give up so many turnovers that turn into points for your opponents, that doesn’t help,” said Neckar coach Steven Key. “We did too little during that run and after to recover from that, especially on the road.
“After the third or fourth turnover, it was clear to see that we were thinking too much, the body language was bad,” added Key, whose team lost their third straight. “Shoulders were down, heads were down. It isn’t easy, when you know you can play better. It got in our heads and we played like it.”
During the quarter, Ludwigsburg committed 13 turnovers, and they only took nine shots. Bayern MADE nine shots. Another key stat defensively for FCB was stopping Neckar’s leading scorers. Taylor had only 2 points. Lucca Staiger was averaging 15.5 points and 44% from beyond the arc. Today – 0-3 from the floor, ZERO points, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, and a disqualification after a hard foul on Tyrese Rice with two and half minutes to go. Neckar’s shooters were clearly frustrated.
“If you want to be able to compete and have a chance to win, you have to defend,” stated Christopoulos. “To build a championship team, we have to defend. We knew we had to be aggressive defensively to take away their three-point shot, get in the passing lanes and deny the ball to their shooters.
“Was it enough? No. Was it consistent? No. We have to build on that and establish a good rhythm.”
For this game, Bayern received a complete team effort. Thomas and Troutman both finished with 16 points, Benzing added 12 points, an Rice and Halperin chipped in 10 points.
Editor’s Note: Hear about the game in their words. Sport Eagle TV Postgame with coaches and players from Bayern Basketball and Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg:
Ludwigsburg (2-3) return home, licking their wounds, and hoping to regroup against ALBA BERLIN next Saturday night and break the losing streak. Bayern (3-2) have won two in a row now and hope to extend their unbeaten road record as they travel to Upper Franconia and play previously unbeaten BBC Bayreuth (4-1). That game is on Sunday, tip-off at 17:00 CET. Follow the game on Twitter @SportEagleTV.