Braunschweig's turnaround in fortunes continued on Tuesday night as the German side defeated Group A leaders Besiktas in the FIBA Europe League. The Henrik Dettmann-led side are 5-1 in the competition since the former Germany coach took over and have a real shot at making the play-offs.
1,600 fans turned up to watch their side take on Besiktas and they weren't sent home dissapointed. Not only did their side win, but it was a nailbiting finish which saw the Germans hold off a furious Besiktas rally to take the victory.
|John Celestand came up big for Braunschweig in the clutch|
It took just 5 minutes for Braunschweig to open up an 11-point lead and it was only some strong play from Besiktas guard Khalid El-Amin (10 points in the quarter) which saw the visitors cut the lead to 5 at the end of the opening period.
Braunschweig maintained their advantage throughout and towards the end of the third period it appeared as though Braunschweig had taken a decisive lead once and for all as they nailed three back-to-back three-pointers and took a 65-54 lead to close out the quarter.
At around the five-minute mark Besiktas started to rally, hitting lay-ups and free-throws.
A key turning point for Braunschweig was the loss of point guard Gordan Firic, who picked up his 5th foul with 51 seconds remaining. Firic, the current player of the week, had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists and as soon as he left the game, Besiktas tied the score at 74-74 with two free throws.
It was John Celestand who stepped up for Braunschweig in the remaining minute. His steal and subsequent free throws gave the German team a 77-74 lead with just 12 seconds to play.
Braunschweig elected to foul rather than give Besiktas the chance to take a potential game-tying three-pointer. It was El-Amin who stepped to the line and having made the first, he had to miss the the second to give his side a chance of overtime.
El-Amin duly missed and Bekir Yarangume came up with a huge offensive rebound for Besiktas and was immediately fouled. He needed to make both to send the game into overtime, but he missed the first and ended his team's hopes of a remarkable comeback.
The top scorers for Braunschweig were Lisicky with 19 points and Zagorac with 18 points. El-Amin finished with 34 points (21-22 from FT line) for Besiktas.
Henrik Dettmann, Head Coach of BS Energy Braunschweig:
"I am very happy that we won this game although we had two injured players with Adam Hall and Prosper Karangwa. After the victory in the national league competition, our self-confidence was rising and we played pretty well tonight."
Ihsan Bayulken, Head Coach of Besiktas JK:
"Congrats to Braunschweig. We lost against a good team. At the end of the game we made some unlucky decisions and didn't have enough luck to win on the road here."