MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg apply pressure in big win over JDA Dijon to open Group I
LUDWIGSBURG (Germany) - MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg used their aggressive-minded defense to help propel them to a 95-73 victory over JDA Dijon to open play in the Round of 16 Group I.
The 95 points given up by Dijon are the most they've given up in a single BCL game since January 21, 2020, when they allowed 105 points against Casademont Zaragoza.
Dijon have yet to win a BCL game against a German team (L5), with their last three losses being by 11 or more points.
Turning point: Dijon held the lead for 8:34 between the first and second quarters, but Ludwigsburg would grab control of the game after going on an 11-0 run to end the first half and led 44-32 at halftime.
They kept the momentum going and came out and outscored Dijon 26-22 in the third quarter to lead 70-54 after three quarters.
Game hero: Justin Simon, who came into this game leading Ludwigsburg in four of the top five stat categories (points, rebounds, steals and blocks per game), finished the game with 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Simon is only the third player to combine for more than 20 points and more than 10 rebounds in a BCL game this season joining Pinar Karsiyaka's Bonzie Colson and Nutribullet Treviso's Henry Sims.
Justin Simon (No. 5)
Stats don't lie: Ludwigsburg scored 34 points off 19 turnovers by Dijon, while Dijon only scored nine points off 10 turnovers by Ludwigsburg.
The 34 points from turnovers were the most by a team in the BCL this season and the most scored since ERA Nymburk in October 2018 against Telenet Giants Antwerp (also 34).
Simon and Jonah Radebaugh led Ludwigsburg with 3 steals each.
Ludwigsburg also outscored Dijon 32-17 in points from the bench, with James Woodard (14 points), Ethan Happ (7 points) and Yorman Polas Bartolo (6 points) combining to score all but five of those points.
Another key stat was Ludwigsburg's 12 offensive rebounds that led to 18 second chance points, while Dijon only scored five points from three offensive rebounds.
Bottom line: Gavin Ware led Dijon with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.
Ludwigsburg begin Round of 16 Group I 1-0 and the German club will host Galatasaray Nef next on Monday January 31.
Dijon begin 0-1 in the group and the French club will host Hapoel U-NET Holon next on Tuesday February 1.
View this post on Instagram
They said: "We played a good team today," said Rashard Kelly of Dijon. "Welcome to the Sweet 16, all games are going to be tough. We just have to continue to adjust. We want more. We have to play better and limit our mistakes."
"They [Ludwigsburg] play like they play always, they play very good, very tough," said Dijon head coach Nenad Markovic. "They push the defensive plan always until the limit. ... We talk about this a lot, and we tried to make a plan to adjust. Unfortunately, we were not able to because if you see they scored 34 points out of the turnovers and they had the nine offensive rebounds more, they forced nine turnovers more. You understand there is no game and we could not compete."
"I thought we followed the gameplan well," said Simon. "These guys [Dijon] lead the Champions League in offensive rebounds and we limited them to three tonight. We applied some pressure. They have some great guards and we forced 19 turnovers tonight, so that was big, and we limited ours on the offensive end. Got some pretty good looks, shared the wealth, everybody played a part in this win tonight and I thought we executed very well on both ends."
"I'm very proud of the guys," said Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick. "After a big road win in Alba, I felt like it was dangerous that maybe we would not bring the same energy. Dijon started out very well. They were well prepared for us, and they jumped on us, but ... we forced a lot of turnovers. ... I felt like being more aggressive was a key to our win."