Fans in Giessen weren´t disappointed as they witnessed an exciting second half and were able to close out their Saturday night with a smile as the 46ers were able to Slip by ex Beko BBL team Science City Jena 75-74. Giessen dominated the first half of play, but Science City Jena fought back in the second half as Giessen didn´t come to terms with their more aggressive defense and trapping and had the chance to win the game on a last possession, but were denied as the off balance jumper by American Garrett Sim didn´t fall as it rattled of the back end of the rim. “Giessen made their shots in the first half as Bennett got hot. We made adjustments on defense and were more aggressive on defense. It was tough to loose this game. We fought so hard to get back into the game. The series still has a lot of games, so I hope we can take the energy of this game into game two”, stated Oregon native Garrett Sim. For Giessen, it was a great start to the series as they remained unbeaten against Jena this season winning for the third time. “It was great winning the game. It was the first time for me in a playoff game and I know from watching NBA how much emotion there is in these games. The game can always be up and down. We really wanted to win this game”, stated California native Steven Bennett.
The Giessen 46ers got off to the better start in the first quarter going out on a 13-4 run as they had no problem scoring against the lax Science City Jena zone. Bennett got hot rapidly and didn´t hesitate to shoot as he scored three buckets in a row. Rob Chubb also gave support with a pretty spin move. Science City Jena countered with a mini 4-0 run as 217cm German big man Daniel Mayr who is rumoured to be headed to FC Bayern Munich next season scored inside and American Dorenzo Hudson made a hard dunk soaring to the basket from the wing as Jena trailed 13-8. Giessen kept up the pressure on offense as now it was time for ex Ulm player Myles Hesson to score three consecutive baskets as Giessen led 20-9. After a another Mayr hoop, American TJ DiLeo ended the first quarter with two consecutive three pointers as Giessen led 27-11. Giessen was playing potent offense and kept Science City Jena off guard as when they did force turnovers, they led to easy buckets for Giessen. Giessen was shooting an astronomical 53% from the field and 46% from outside while Science City Jena was shooting 33% from the field and 0% form outside. Giessen had the 12-9 rebound edge, and had three turnovers while Science City Jena had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, Science City Jena picked up their offense a bit more, but couldn´t make any ground as the Giessen offense was like flowing as smoothly as beer at a brewery. Science Jena kept their zone intact, but were allowing too many open shots which Giessen took to their advantage. Science City started with more intensity rolling out on a 9-4 run to cut the Giessen lead to 31-20. Hudson made a runner and Dennis Tinnon who rebounds as if there is a fortune lying on the rim scored twice . After a Bennett three pointer, it was role player Julius Wolf who nailed a three pointer to cut the Giessen lead to 34-25. However whenever Science City Jena was on the verge of getting closer, it was Giessen who continued to hit shots as German Benjamin Lischka dropped a three pointer and DiLeo scored as Giessen led 42-27. After Illinois native Billy Rush connected for a three pointer, Giessen closed out the second quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Hesson hit a jumper and De Leo hit a tough step back jumper. At halftime, the Giessen 46ers led 46-30. “They wanted to test their zone, but we kept hitting shots to keep a nice lead”, added Los Angeles native Steven Bennett. Giessen was shooting 44% from the field and 36% from the three point line while Science City Jena was shooting 41% from the field and 30% from the three point line. Giessen had the 20-19 rebound edge and five turnovers while Science City Jena had nine turnovers.
In the third quarter, Science City Jena got back into the game in the second part of the quarter. Giessen started the third quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Lischka connected on free throws and Rob Chubb scored inside as Giessen led 50-30. Science City Jena then got their offense going on a 9-2 run to cut the Giessen lead to 52-39. In the run, Mayr easily used the mis match against smaller but more physical Chubb scoring as everything near the hoop he usually puts away, Hudson nailed a three pointer and Sim scored on transition. Giessen took some of that Jena momentum away as Chubb had his bright moment as he scored inside after getting a quick no look pass from Bennett and then put some energy into the Osthalle with a dunk as Giessen led 57-39 again. After a Lars Wendt bucket, it was Myles Hesson that made a thunderous ally-op dunk with the perfect feed from DiLeo as Giessen led 59-41 and seemed to keep their big lead pace going. “I have seen better dunks from him, but Myles is one of the most athletic players in the league”, smiled Steven Bennett. However Science Jena wanted nothing of that closing out the third quarter with a harsh 12-3 run to temporarily silence the Giessen fans as they trailed only 62-55. The Jena inside duo of Tinnon and Rush were very effective in this run as the American Tinnon scored on a tip in and got to the free throw line twice, Rush scored inside and Hudson added to the run form the guard position with a three pointer. “Jena changed up their defense in the third quarter. They were more aggressive pressuring us better and got to the free throw line”, stressed Steven Bennett. Giessen was shooting 40% from the field and 31% from the parking lot while Science City Jena was shooting 43% from the field and 33% from the parking lot. Jena had the 30-29 rebound edge and 12 turnovers while Giessen had 11 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Giessen 46ers did their best keeping the slimmer lead while Science City Jena kept chipping away at the lead until they finally got the lead back mid way through the game. De Leo and Rush started the fourth quarter trading buckets as Giessen had the 65-57 lead. However despite the tough atmosphere, Science City Jena kept their heads up and got benefited by two technical fouls from Lischka and Bennett to get back into the game. Sim hit six free throws in this span as Science City Jena cut the Giessen lead to 68-65. Sim really had confidence now nailing a deep three pointer from seemingly Lich knotting the game at 68-68 as he had made nine points in a row. Hudson then made one free throw to give Jena the lead back to 69-68. Role player Ermen Reyes Napoles who played 12 Beko BBL games as a 17 year old for Jena hit a big three pointer as Jena had a 17-5 run and led 72-68. Thiermo Agne who hit over 40% from downtown his last three seasons at Northwood(NAIA) hit a massive three pointer as Giessen trailed 72-71, but Hudson kept Jena in the lead with a lay in 74-71. However the game then turned as Science City Jena suffered a turnover which led to Hesson free throws as Giessen trailed 74-73. Lars Wendt then got a questionable foul and Hesson dropped both free throws for the Giessen 75-74 lead. Science City Jena had the chance to win the game with 4,1 seconds to play, but Sim was forced to a tough shot riming out an off balance jumper as Giessen prevailed. “On the last play, the ball screen was a bit late so I had to react quickly and missed a tough shot. In a situation like this, I always want to take that shot”, warned Garrett Sim. “We knew Sim would get the ball. We played aggressive defense and forced him to a tough shot”, added Steven Bennett. The Giessen 46ers were led by Myles Hesson with 21 points. TJ DiLeo added 17 points and Steven Bennett 15 points. Science City Jena was led by Dorenzo Hudson with 18 points. Garrett Sim had 17 points and Dennis Tinnon 11 points and 17 rebounds. Science City Jena shot a tad better and rebounded better, but had one more turnover. “We want to take our good defense in the second half into game two. We have to keep our heads up”, warned Garrett Sim. Science City Jena host Giessen in game two Tuesday.