Walden, Blatt lead UNET Holon past EWE Baskets Oldenburg
HOLON (Basketball Champions League) - UNET Holon picked up their second win of the Basketball Champions League season with a 94-90 win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg on Tuesday evening in Israel.
Corey Walden exploded for 31 points, whilst Tamir Blatt set a new Basketball Champions League season-high in assists with 13 to go with his 12 points.
UNET Holon had trailed by as many as 12 after leading in the early stages, before a dominant fourth quarter where they put 32 points on the board and held Oldenburg to just 17.
"We started out pretty strong," Walden said after the game. "Then the second quarter towards the end we had a little lapse, we lost focus a little bit. Even coming out of half time, we had a slow start but the bigger picture was the team stayed strong, stay resilient and battled back.
"It shows how resilient this team is and how tough this team is. We locked down and made enough plays to come out on top."
Guy Pnini came up with two huge three-pointers down the stretch to seal the victory for the home team.
Dan Shamir UNET Holon Head Coach added:
"I'm definitely happy about the result. Real proud of how our guys played in the fourth quarter especially, coming back, playing together. Some great individual performances, Corey is one of them.
"We've got some good things to build on, obviously we also have some things we can do better but hopefully we will take advantage of the opportunity that as created here."
Maxime De Zeeuw's 26 points weren't enough for Oldenburg, whilst an impressive three-point shooting performance from Philipp Schwethelm was wasted, as he went 6-of-8 from beyond the arc for his 20-point, 10-rebound double-double.
EWE Baskets jumped out to an 8-0 run to open the game behind a hot start from De Zeeuw, who finished with 11 points in the opening quarter.
UNET Holon responded with their own run, led by Glen Rice Jr who had a spectacular reverse dunk before a rare 4-point play that gave Holon their first lead of the game 27-25 with 51 seconds left in the period.
A 10-0 run to begin second quarter from Holon saw the home side in firm control.
EWE Baskets had trailed by as many as nine in the period, before a corner three from Schwethelm regained them the lead with 45 seconds left in the half and that is how the deficit would remain at the halftime break, 47-45.
The third quarter became the Schwethelm show as he knocked down four straight three pointers, the last of which gave Oldenburg a 57-66 lead with 2:38 remaining in the quarter.
The fourth period however, was all UNET Holon. The opened the quarter on an 8-0 run - six of which game from Blatt - to pull within three, 73-70, and despite constantly getting within striking distance were unable to get over the hump until Guy Pnini came up clutch in the final minutes.
Pnini hit two huge threes in the final four minutes, the second with a little over a minute left to break a tie and give the home team an 88-85 lead. Two free throws from Walden followed as they had enough of a cushion to pull out the win.