Created on 2015-11-23 at 12:00 PM
FC Bayern Basketball battled the Eisbären (Polar Bears) in Bremerhaven, scratching and clawing to an 86-80 win in overtime to break a two-game losing streak in the BEKO Basketball Bundesliga.
Bayern benefitted from clutch shooting by K.C. Rivers and a stubborn defensive effort by the team in the fourth quarter to break their five-game skid which includes three losses in the Euroleague. The 3,645 fans in the City Arena saw the Bears take an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter, but Rivers' three-pointers and Deon Thompson's double-double - both scored game-high 19 points - led the comeback that needed an extra period to settle the score.
The road trip continues for Bayern as they get closer to the artic with a trip to Moscow to face BC Khimki on Thursday, November 26th. Tip-off of this Euroleague Group A game is at 18:00 CET. Munich return home to the Audi Dome on Sunday, November 29th to host the Crailsheim Merlins, tip at 17:00 CET.
Scoring by quarter (FCBB - BREM): 19-25, 19-21, 13-16, 21-10, 14-8
FC Bayern Team: K.C. Rivers (19 points/3 three-pointers), Deon Thompson (19/11 rebounds), Bryce Taylor (14), Alex Renfroe (14/5 assists), Nihad Djedovic (8), Paul Zipser (6), John Bryant (5/9 reb), Andreas Seiferth (1), Anton Gavel, and Vasilije Micic. DNP: Daniel Mayr, Dejan Kovacevic.
Svetislav Pesic, Head Coach, FCBB: "That was an emotional game. As always, when we play a team on the road, the game goes to the limit and the opponent plays with a lot of motivation. Bremerhaven demonstrated this the entire game, but in the end, lacked the energy and depth on the bench. We are not in good physical condition and cannot, as some still believe, expect to win easily in Bremerhaven. We had two more injuries during this game. But we battled and believed, and despite all the diffculties, we won against a very good Bremerhaven team. We focused on our defense, especially on rebounding, and challenged our opponents' shots."
Chris Harris, Head Coach, Bremerhaven: "Congratulations to Bayern, they came back from (eleven) points in the final quarter thanks to a great run at the end, in money time. It is of course disappointing for us to have this game in hand and to give it away. We are waiting for the moment when it can all come together and we can win these games."
John Bryant, Center, FCBB: "We played a lousy first half, defending poorly. But then we focused on our defense and our shots fell - everything depends on defense."
K.C. Rivers, Guard, FCBB: "That's why I practice those kind of shots every day that they go in at the end. The win was extremely important for us. We had to win here, no matter how. We fought back well. We need for continue to work hard and prepare game to game. Today was important, but it was only the first step."
Alex Renfroe, Nihad Djedovic, Bryce Taylor, Deon Thompson, and John Bryant started the game in Bremerhaven. After falling behind early on Thursday at home against Fenerbahce, Bayern made sure to get on scoreboard first. Thompson won the opening tip and scored, and Taylor followed with a three-pointer (5-0, 1' minute). The Polar Bears were bouyed by their home crowd and answered right away. Treys by Tony Bishop and Larry Gordon earned the home team the lead (5-8, 3'). Renfroe followed with a turnover that lead to another score for the home side. Bremerhaven were on-target in the first quarter from beyond-the-arc, Kyle Fogg and Gordon increased the lead to 18-12 (6'). Paul Zipser got into the action with a three-pointer to get Bayern to 19-17, but everytime it seemed the Reds found a rhythm, the Polar Bears had an answer. Gordon's third three-pointer and the fifth for the Bears ensured a 25-19 deficit for Bayern after the first quarter.
Bremerhaven quickly increased the lead to double-digits in the early part of the quarter, Fogg's three-pointer forced FCBB Head Coach Svetislav Pesic to call time (19-32, 13'). The Reds responded with a 9-2 run, Taylor finishing the 7-0 burst with a three-pointer, the Bears' Head Coach Chris Harris called timeout (28-34, 15'). Zipser hit a three-pointer to get Munich closer, but Brandyn Curry answered with a three-pointer (31-39, 16'). Bayern were not going away, another 7-0 run cut the deficit to one-point (38-39, 18'). The Polar Bears, intent on protecting their cave, finished with a flurry with their own 7-0 run. Bayern trailed 46-38 at halftime.
Djedovic scored first for Bayern and then stole the ball on the next Bears' possession, his assist to Renfroe for the "score-and-one" made it 48-43 (22'). Renfroe's turnover sparked another Bears run, Jannik Freese connected for a three-pointer, Coach Pesic called timeout (45-55, 24'). Rivers' pair of free-throws got Munich to under 10 points, but Jerry Smith ended the third quarter with a long distance make, the Bears were holding off Bayern 62-51 after three quarters.
Down 11 points heading into final ten minutes, Bayern needed someone to step up in crunchtime and it was Rivers who started the quarter nailing a three-pointer (54-62, 31'). The Bears were looking like they were up to holding off any Bayern run as Adam Ariel sank a three-pointer to get the lead back to 11 points (56-67, 34'). The Reds continued to battle, as Bryant started a run with a three-point play (59-67, 35'). A turnover by the hosts led to Djedovic scoring the other way and he too earned a bonus free-throw to get Munich to within 67-62.The Polar Bears' lead continued to melt away thanks to their poor shot selection. After Djedovic's pair of free-throws cut the deficit down to 67-64, Renfroe found Thompson under the hoop for another score, Bremerhaven called timeout finally after a 10-0 Bayern run (66-67, 37').
Things got bleak for Bayern after that, as their own mistakes held them back from taking the lead. First, Coach Pesic was called for the technical foul, a bonus free-throw ending the run. Renfroe forced up a shot and then later turned it over on an inbounds play that led to a bucket for Bremerhaven, timeout Bayern (66-70, 38'). Rivers knocked down the three on the restart, but former NBA'er Tyrus Thomas dunked it home, Munich looked down-and-out at 72-69 in the final minute (39'). Especially after multiple missed shots and another turnover by Renfroe - his fifth of the game - thanks to miscommunication once again between himself and Djedovic. However, Munich's persistence paid off, the team kept the ball alive after yet another missed shot. Renfroe got a hand on it as the clock ticked down and slapped it over to Rivers, who coolly threw up a prayer from three-point land... SWISH!! Tie game with :02.8 seconds left! The Bears' final attempts did not going in and we were heading to overtime.
After Djedovic's free-throw earned Bayern the lead for the first time since the first quarter, Bremerhaven continued to turn the ball over, with another 24-second shot clock violation. Rivers drove the paint and his floater was good (75-72, 42'). Gordon's three-pointer got the Bears as close as they were going to get the rest of the way (77-75, 43'), as Renfroe took it to the hoop for a layup and Bryant made good on a sweet dish from Rivers, timeout Bears (81-76, 44'). Free-throws the rest of the way for Munich as they hold off the hungry Bears 86-80 and snap their two-game Sunday losing streak in the BBL.
Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Regular Season, Round 7:
Thursday, 26th November, 18:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at Khimki Moscow
Beko BBL, Gameday 10:
Sunday, 29th November, 17:00 CET, Audi Dome
FC Bayern Basketball vs Crailsheim Merlins
Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Regular Season, Round 8:
Friday, 4th December, 20:30 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at SIG Basket Strasbourg
Beko BBL, Gameday 11:
Sunday, 6th December, 17:00 CET
FC Bayern Basketball at Brose Baskets