|Oldenburg's Rickey Paulding led all scorers with 24 points |
EWE Baskets Oldenburg brought out the big guns in Game 3 of their quarter-final play-off series with Khimik Yuzhne and outscored the Ukranian side 100-74 to clinch the last spot in the EuroChallenge Final Four.
The deciding encounter started out as a balanced affair on a frenetic tempo, as Oldenburg had to fight tooth and nail with their guests simply to be up by one point, 25-24, at the end of the first quarter.
The lead changed hands 15 times in the first 12 minutes, while the scores were level on eight occasions.
However, when Rickey Paulding hit a three-pointer from the top of the key 1:09 from the end of the second quarter to give Oldenburg their biggest lead up until that point, 54-43, something enormously important became apparent - the hosts could keep up at the same rhythm all night long.
They led 56-45 at half-time and came out of the locker rooms looking as fresh as ever, continuing to run the floor and score in transition, while Khimik gradually started slowing down.
Oldenburg took their largest lead in the entire series, 70-55, on another three by Paulding, before a Julius Jenkins lay-up on the fast break extended that to 17, 72-55, 3:54 from the end of the third quarter.
The German side continued to pile up the misery on their guests and even increased the gap to 24, before taking their foot off the gas a bit in the final frame, in which they scored only 19 points.
Paulding led the charge for the winners with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Adam Chubb finished with 22 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the floor and Jenkins had 17 points and four assists.
Willie Deane led all Khimik scorers with 23 points and added four assists in a losing effort.