With a masterful road show, ratiopharm Ulm stopped red-hot host Gran Canaria in its tracks for an 81-96 win in Group B on Wednesday. Ulm lifted its record to 3-3 while Gran Canaria fell to 4-2 with a second home loss bracketed around a four-game winning streak. Ulm trailed for just one possession, in the first quarter, and was ahead by as many as 15 points in each half, including at the end.
Ulm dominates, 81-96, in Gran Canaria
Jerome Blossomgame missed just 2 shots on his way to 25 points to lead the winners. Semaj Christon followed with 18 and 5 assists. Sindarius Thornwell celebrated his EuroCup debut with 17 points and Philipp Herkenhoff came off the bench for 12 more. AJ Slaughter scored 18 points and Dylan Ennis 17 for Gran Canaria, while Chris Kramer added 15 and Miquel Salvo 10. Gran Canaria narrowed the difference to 80-86 with a late run before Ulm used a 1-10 finish to pick up a good-as-gold road win.
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Kramer matched a triple by Cristiano Felicio and a long two by Christon for an early 5-5 tie. But Felicio went inside, Thornwell opened his EuroCup career from deep and Christon drove for a layup to put the visitors in front 5-12. Slaughter answered for Gran Canaria from the arc, but when Blossomgame finished a break, the hosts needed a timeout at 8-14. John Shurna lifted Gran Canaria with a breakaway layup and a triple to make it 13-14 and Kramer gave the hosts the lead on another fastbreak. However, Christon flipped it back to Ulm and Fedor Zugic's three-point play made it 15-19. Thornwell got loose for another break before Herkenhoff hit a jumper that left the guests up 18-23 after 10 minutes.
Thornwell hit 4 free throws for an Ulm lead of 18-27 that he and Nicolas Bretzel protected with early second-quarter blocks. Kramer and Slaughter tried to spark Gran Canaria, but Bretzel and Thornwell scored in close before Blossomgame buried back-to-back triples to quickly carry Ulm's advantage up to 24-37. Christon added a basket to the lead before Salvo and Khalifa Diop gave Gran Canaria a pair of much-needed new scorers. Salvo's second basket lowered the difference to 33-41, but Christon and Blossongame lifted it to 35-45. Oliver Stevic took 2 back at the foul line for the hosts but Thomas Klepeisz finished the half from deep for a 37-48 Ulm lead.
Diop's 2 quick baskets after the break set up Kramer for a triple that suddenly had Gran Canaria within 44-50. Blossomgame answered from downtown, and when Slaughter matched him on a third-chance shot, Klepeisz also went deep at 47-56. Ulm's defense allowed only free throws over more than 6 minutes while Thornwell scored a put-back, Zugic struck and Blossomgame finished a break at 52-65. The hosts could only score at the foul line still as Herkenhoff blasted a triple that kept Ulm up 55-68 after 30 minutes.
Salvo ended Gran Canaria's field goal drought with a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter. Karim Jallow downed a finger roll for Ulm before Slaughter struck from deep, too. Blossomgame was ready with answers inside and out, however, as the Ulm lead climbed again to 61-76. Ennis, with his first field goal, and Slaughter, from downtown and the free throw line, willed Gran Canaria to within 68-78. Christon capitalized on a rare Ulm offensive rebound. Ennis fed Kramer for a back-door reverse and then finished a break at 72-80. Christon again steadied Ulm and Felicio dunked at 72-84, but Slaughter bit into the difference with a triple. Christon's free throws were met by Ennis firing from way downtown to make it 78-86 with under 3 minutes left. Ennis went up and under for the next basket at 80-86. Thornwell answered with free throws and a steal that ended in a put-back dunk by Blossomgame, restoring a double-digit lead at 80-90 and assuring Ulm a huge road win.