Host team Göttingen booked their place in the Final of EuroChallenge with a sensational and spectacular comeback against Roanne as Taylor Rochestie lit up the second semi-final of the weekend with a dazzling 27 points.
The Violets endured a torrid first half and at one point found themselves a massive twenty points behind but with the backing of an energetic and boisterous support, they stormed back after the break to get Lokhalle bouncing (watch highlight video here).
|Ben Jacobson shows some emotions in a hard fought game|
Amidst a sea of violet and white, the fans left the Arena in party mood and now looking forward to Sundays final against Krasnye Krylia.
In a classic game of two halves, Gottingen were equally as dreadful in the first two quarters as they were magnificent in the last two. Roanne meanwhile will be left thinking about how they capitulated although without their top scorer Ralph Mims it was always going to be an uphill struggle.
Nevertheless they dominated in the first quarter and found themselves with a double digit lead at 26-16 with Gottingen fouling almost incessantly and handing points from the free-throw line on a plate.
Things got even better when they then doubled their advantage as Lewis drained a triple to put them 37-17 in front and with Dylan Page excelling and triples dropping, things looked bright for the French side.
Gottingen rallied later in the second quarter but still trailed 41-28 heading into the locker rooms at the break.
Coach Patrick knew things could only get better and so it proved. Stepping up their trademark defence and managing to capitalise on some poor shooting by Roanne, the tide quickly turned during the third quarter.
Rochestie (watch his post-game reaction here) was simply magnificent but he also enjoyed plenty of support from his team-mates and it was the whole Göttingen team that dug deep. After Roanne opened the scoring in the third quarter, the hosts set about eating up the lead at a rapid pace.
|Nicholas Lewis helped his team with some outside shooting|
They pulled out a 24-8 run and fittingly it was Rochestie that handed them the lead to complete the fight back. Having then remarkably went 6 points in front, Roanne then showed they too had some fight left in them and there was a 12 point turnaround.
The pendulum was swinging frantically and with 6 minutes remaining it was the French team ahead by six points. The crowd prayed for their favouites to have one last run and with each team in foul trouble, so it proved.
Even with Rochestie on four fouls, they kept going and once the powerful Nsonwu fouled out and Göttingen got things going inside, things suddenly looked bleak for Roanne and so it proved as the Violets delivered a devastating 17-1 run to finish the game.
The defeat was tough on Page who had 19 points for Roanne but as the fans flooded out of an Arena located deep in the heart of Germany and indeed the heart of Europe, it was fitting that it was the heart showed by Göttingen when 20 points behind that was the real story of a wonderful game.
Roanne Basket head coach Jean Denys Choulet:
It was a tough game tonight. The home court advantage is incredible. If we play at home the result may go the other way. Göttingen played their well defense, like we know it from tape. I would like to say that the referees did a great job in the first half. We have two players injured. I am proud of the players that played. It was a really good game. The crowd here is great. Göttingen deserved the win in the end. I want to say that I can't understand that it is not allowed to replace an injured player. That is a stupid rule. And second, a team that qualifies for the Final Four shouldn't organise the tournament. The home advantage is too much.
Roanne Player Dylan Page:
It was a tough game tonight. The game went up and down all the time. It was a game of runs. This was a big crowd. It was fun to play here. Other than that we didn't execute on offense. At the same time we made some mistakes on defense. We simply can't allow both things at the same time.
BG Göttingen head coach John Patrick:
We played a really good team. One of the top teams in France. They are missing their best player. We miss our best player too and also had two players playing with hand injuries. We said before the game that we don't want to make any excuses. In the game we had big problems controlling Dylan Page. I think our team fitness was the key to win the game. We were a little bit luckier in the end to hit the big shots. I am proud of the team, they really fought hard. I am also proud to play in front of this inspiring crowd here in Göttingen.
BG Forward Robert Kulawick:
I'd like to thank Roanne for a great game. We played in front of a really great crowd. In the end it was all heart and team play by us. I think that's why we won this game.