It is never easy playing games during the X-Mas holidays, but when your playing in Europe, that is part of the norm. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig had a week to recover from their disappointing 108-75 loss against explosive team HAKRO Merlins where the raining of three´s kept a consistent trend all day long from Elias Lasisi and co. On the other hand the Fraport Skyliners only had 4 days to recover also from a loss to Crailsheim, but at least they had had their chances to win the game. But they just couldn´t control their up and down spurts throughout the game and couldn´t withstand the fourth quarter Merlins knock out punch where German sniper Maurice Stuckey demonstrated that he is always good for a shooting clinic. A day after Christmas and digested dinners, the Fraport Skyliners met the talented Basketball Lowen Braunschweig and thanks to a shooting clinic from Matt Mobley who didn´t have anything eccentric like Jon Axel Gudmundsson who ate Rein deer for Christmas, but kept it a bit odd with a Christmas Pizza erupted for 31 points and three massive three´s in overtime to spark the Fraport Skyliners to a 103-98 victory. He didn´t match his career best of 35 points in Turkey, but got over that 29 points hurdle.” I thought I might never get past 29 points, but then I got to the free throw line and did. I didn´t get frustrated after a few misses. My teammates did a good job putting me in good situations to score. I just played my role”, stressed ex St Bonaventure(NCAA) stand out Matt Mobley. The Fraport Skyliners offense is slowly beginning to gel, but the club still haven´t been able to put it together at both ends of the court. “We are happy about the win. We dedicate the win to the fans. It was a tough game. Our offense played well. There were too many times when we tried to get away on offense, but couldn´t due to our defense. We need to get more experience and defend better as a team. We want to put our good defense against Carilsheim and good offense against Braunschweig together”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Sebastian Gleim. The Basketball Lowen played an inspired game, but in overtime just couldn´t keep Matt Mobley in check. “We knew this would be a tough game. We played hard and tried to move the ball well, but it all just wasn´t enough tonight. We are a young team and need to learn from our mistakes”, stressed Basketball Lowen Braunschweig head coach Pete Strobl.
The Fraport Skyliners came out on fire on offense hitting their first 4 shots executing well in the paint. Ex Auburn(NCAA) great Quantez Robertson scored in the first 5 seconds with a lay in, ex wiha Panthers Schwenningen forward Rasheed Moore went coast to coast with the lay in, ex Davidson)NCAA) guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson nailed a 10 footer and ex Vechta center Michael Kessens scored on the pick and role. Braunschweig also got their offense going getting a lay in from ex Munich guard Karim Jallow and ex medi Bayreuth forward Lukas Meissner scored a trey as Frankfurt had the 8-5 lead. Frankfurt had some serious early foul problems which led to them losing the lead. Quantez Robertson was hit really hard with 2 fouls in 15 seconds which led to another Meissner trey and 12-8 Braunschweig advantage. Frankfurt then got 4 consecutive free throws from ex Miami(NCAA) center Kamari Murphy to dead lock the contest at 12-12. Braunschweig continued to win the lead back getting back to back lay ins from Jallow and Meissner who showcased his fine inside out game early. Gudmundsson tied the game at 16-16 with free throws and a lay in. Moore really stepped it up in the last minute picking his spots well and hitting two 3 pointers in a row. He hadn´t played since the Crailsheim game 96 hours earlier as he had suffered severe back pain and couldn´t practice the days leading up to this game, but the Skyliners medical staff had put him together perfect for the game. Moore finished with 16 points and continues to demonstrate that his rare amazing climb from the German fourth division to the BBL was no fluke. “It has been an adjustment in the BBL playing against top scale athletes. I think that the BBL games and practices have helped. I feel good. I am now where I wanted to be 4 years ago. It is nice to see that hard work pays off”, stressed Rasheed Moore. German top talent Luc Van Slooten ended the first quarter with a buzzer beater trey as the game was dead locked 22-22.
In the second quarter the offenses continued to shine as the defenses took a break. The Fraport Skyliners offense got even better and allowed them to lead by as much as 10 points, but their defense continued to let them down allowing the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig to rally and come back. The Fraport Skyliners wasted no time to begin the second frame escaping out on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 31-22. In the run the 2016 FIBA Europe Cup winner got solid support from many sides as Rasheed Moore continued to show his efficiency with a runner while Mobley also executed on a runner and free throw, but the story belonged to German veteran Marco Voeller. Voeller who isn´t the most talented on the team, but there isn´t another guy that works harder scored two buckets including a massive two handed dunk and a beautiful offensive rebound and put back where he allowed his physicality to take total control in the paint. It seemed like this could have been the time where Frankfurt would totally break away, but Braunschweig had other plans not giving up. They fought back getting a rapid 4-0 run getting a fade away jumper from Robinson and Meissner killed Frankfurt on one of many back door cuts on the day as Frankfurt only led 31-26. Frankfurt then got a quick 5-0 run as Gudmundsson nailed a long three from at least 8,5 meters and Voeller made free throws for the once again seemingly comfortable 36-26 advantage. “We don´t practice those long three´s by Jon and Matt in practice. It is nice to see that they can do things in games that we don´t practice in practices”, smiled Sebastian Gleim. But there was Braunschweig roaring right back going on a 8-2 run to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 36-34. In the run, the guests allowed it to rain three´s getting two from Van Slooten who hit a very rare bank shot from the corner and ex George Mason(NCAA) guard Bryon Allen also delivered from down town. Frankfurt held the slim lead down the stretch and Braunschweig stayed in the game with three consecutive Jallow buckets as he made a tip in, one hand dunk and reverse lay up as Frankfurt led only 42-40. The Jallow show would continue in the last minute as Frankfurt couldn´t keep him under control. Despite a Mobley trey, Jallow struck back with a three pointer and lay in on the back door as Braunschwieg trailed 47-45 at the break. Both teams had almost allowed 100 points combined at the break. It was obvious that the defensive end is still a work in progress. “Each team in the BBL have their specialties. Braunschwieg is one of those teams that likes to have 4-5 guys pushing the ball in transition. We gave up way too many transition baskets. That has to get better”, stressed Sebastian Gleim.
In the third quarter the Fraport skyliners kept the lead, but couldn´t break away. Somehow the Basketball Lowen were able to hang around. Mobley continued to be a one man wrecking crew supplying 7 points in the first few minutes. He nailed a trey and twice was fouled behind the three point line connecting on four of six free throws. Braunschweig got some huge baskets and Jallow demonstrated that he will always be able to create his own shot scoring inside while James Robinson showed the calmness of his buddy Kameron Taylor dropping a three, but Braunschwieg still trailed 56-50. Braunschweig just continued to chip away going on a 6-2 run to trail only 58-56 as Robinson, Jallow and Meissner continued to be the team´s most consistent performers scoring easy baskets. Braunschweig just couldn´t find some healthy consistency on the defensive end always allowing Frankfurt to get points on the set play with a Mobley trey or a transition basket as Gudmundsson fed Murphy for the perfect alley-oop slam dunk as Frankfurt tried to break free again leading 63-59. A Robertson pull up jumper and Gudmundsson three pointer gave Frankfurt the 68-61 lead. Frankfurt displayed their finest ball movement of the game on the Gudmundsson three as 6-7 players touched the ball. Frankfurt kept the lead, but Braunschweig´s prolific sniper Bryon Allen scored three clutch shots in the last few minutes to keep Braunschweig very close as they trailed only 73-70 after 30 minutes. “The third quarter was built for uns. We had our ups and downs. It was one of those games where neither team could get stops. You just got to keep going”, stressed Rasheed Moore.
In the fourth quarter both teams took a break from the consistent scoring as only 26 points were scored between the two clubs while in the third quarter they had doubled that output. The Fraport Skyliners always seemed like they were in the drivers seat and would walk away with win leading by as much as 7 points, but the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig hung in there, fought and forced a overtime. Karim Jallow who has made an amazing development in Braunschweig like no other young German in the easyCredit BBL proved again that his three point shot has become a reliable one dead locking the game at 73-73. Frankfurt were more awake on defense as Quantez Robertson leaped into a passing lane made a steal and supplied Kessens for the easy two handed transition stuff. Frankfurt made another stop and then it was Rasheed Moore again coming in the clutch and making a big hook shot for the 77-74 lead. Moore continues to be that reliable hard worker that has established a fine inside/out game. Frankfurt also had been without their scorer Jon Axel Gudmundsson who had suffered a cut and had to be stitched back up in the locker room and never returned to the court. Frankfurt then got to the free throw line twice as Moore connected as did ex Ludwisgburg guard Konstantin Konga for the 81-75 advantage. Once again Frankfurt was attempting to pull away, but Braunschweig always had an answer and continued to hurt Frankfurt in the paint as German big man Gavin Schilling who finished with 12 points and 9 boards used his physicality to his advantage and muscled home a basket to trail only 81-77. Frankfurt then had the next knock out punch flying as Konga nailed a trey and Allen followed with an airball with 3,09 minutes to play as Frankfurt led comfortably 84-77. But Frankfurt just were unable to close out the game allowing the guests on a nasty 7-0 run to tie the game at 84-84 with 29 seconds to play. In the run, Schilling executed again with a tip in, Allen made a lay in and Robinson dropped a clutch trey. “Robinson is a great player. Great players make great shots. We wanted to win, but they didn´t go away. We were just trying to make plays”, said Rasheed Moore. Frankfurt had one more chance, but Moore coughed up the ball. He erased his mistake guarding Jallow aggressively on the final shot as it didn´t fall. “I made up for my turnover. I knew that I had to cut off the baseline and force Jallow to take a bad shot”, commented Rasheed Moore.
In the overtime period, Matt Mobley took over letting it rain three´s pacing the Fraport Skyliners to the win. Mobley hit two three´s early, but that didn´t shake Braunschweig as Meissner connected from the parking lot and Schilling made a lay in as Braunschweig trailed only 92-91 with 1,37 to play. Frankfurt then suddenly slammed the door shut on Braunschweig as they went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 99-91. Mobley hit another huge trey, Moore made a hard two handed dunk on the fast break and Joe Rahon made a lay in. “I always had a good feeling we would win. Mobley obviously was a big factor, but we got important support from Moore, Rahon and other players”, stressed Sebastian Gleim. Mobley had the hot hand all night long and in the overtime Braunschweig was unable to key in on him better. “At the end of the game the talent of a player like Mobley goes up. Our defense wasn´t always where it should have been, but he did make some tough shots. Plus we didn´t make our free throws”, said Pete Strobl. ”We ran the same play three times. I was surprised they didn´t cover me better”, added Matt Mobley. Despite late three´s by Robinson and Allen, it was just garbage points as Robertson and Mobley had made their free throws. “Matt is a special player. When he is hot, he is tough to guard. He was in a groove. We have full confidence that he will make his shots”, expressed Rasheed Moore. The Fraport Skyliners had five players in double figures led by Matt Mobley with 31 points. Rasheed Moore supplied 16 points, Jon Axel Gudmundsson 13 points, Kamari Murphy 11 points and Konstantin Konga 10 points while the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were led by Karinm Jallow with 23 points. Bryon Allen added 21 points and Lukas Miessner 18 points. Th e Fraport Skyliners shot 49% from the field and 41% from outside and had 36 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig shot 50% form the field and 45% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 10 turnovers.