Nov 28 2021

Ireland lose 97-70 to Austria in FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers

Ireland’s senior men’s team fell to 97-70 defeat to Austria in the second game of their FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Round 1 campaign. John Carroll top scored for Ireland on 23 points and also had nine rebounds, while Taiwo Badmus had 21 points. Sean Flood also impressed with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Badmus opened the scoring with a layup in the first 30 seconds to give Ireland an early lead. Austria responded with five points in a row, but a Jordan Blount layup brought it level, at 5-5, with three and a half minutes gone.

John Carroll was looking liveliest for Ireland in the opening quarter, he had a dunk and fadeaway jump shot to see Ireland trail 11-9 at the midway point in the quarter.

The first quarter highlight was a steal followed by a dunk from Lorcan Murphy, which reduced the deficit to 15-11.

Thomas Klepeisz was the dangerman for Austria, a three from the captain with a little over two minutes to go made it 21-11 to away side. He’d accumulated nine points at that stage and would have 11 by the end of the quarter.

Another big three from Guylain Mbemba and Marvin Ogunsipe layup had Austria 28-11 up.

John Carroll missed his two free throws in the dying seconds of the quarter, but scooped up the rebound after the second to make a layup and it was 28-13 at the end of the quarter.

Ireland’s struggles at the basket in the first quarter were quickly forgotten with a strong second. After three and a half scoreless minutes in the quarter, Jordan Blount landed a three point jump shot, only for that to be wiped out almost immediately by Klepeisz, much to the visible frustration of Blount.

Ireland started to pick up a bit of steam, Sean Flood’s 3-point step back jump shot four and a half minutes in saw them trail 31-19. Six minutes into the quarter John Carroll downed a three, he followed it with a two-point jump shot, however Austria still led 39-29. A Badmus layup came soon after was greeted by a raucous response from the home crowd, who could sense a momentum shift.

Carroll was to the fore, he had four more points, followed by four from Flood to see Ireland trail by just a single point, 40-39. Austria responded with a dunk from Renato Poljak, who was fouled by Eoin Quigley on the way in, Poljak added the extras to make 43-39.

Ireland had the last say in the quarter, Brian Fitzpatrick’s layup saw Ireland trail 43-41 at half-time, having outscored their opponents 28-15 in the quarter.

Austria began the third with a big three Klepeisz, who was proving to be a formidable force to try and stop and would finish the game with 25 points. Sean Flood matched it with little over two minutes gone in the quarter, Austria led 46-44.

Austria built a 10-point advantage, 56-46, by midway through the quarter, Bogic Vujosevic’s big three among their points.

John Carroll got through some traffic to pick up a layup and reduce Austria’s lead to 56-48 with four minutes to go. It was all Austria after that, Erol Antonio Ersek went on an 8-point personal run, which included two three-point jump shots and Austria held a commanding 73-50 advantage going into the final quarter.

A shotclock buzzer beating three from Badmus and a layup shortly after that made it 76-58 with two minutes gone in the final quarter, as Ireland pushed to try and close the gap.

Another three pointer from Badmus with a little over six minutes saw Ireland trail 78-63.

But Austria managed to hold off the attempted comeback, Jordan Blount’s three point jump shot in the final minute among the highlights in the closing stages, as Austria emerged 97-70 victors.

Austria are ranked 61st in the world, compared to Ireland who are 107th in the FIBA rankings, and Ireland head coach Mark Keenan acknowledged it was a step up.

“Austria showed that their rankings are a lot higher than ourselves and Cyprus, they’re a very professional outfit, really high calibre players. I’m a bit disappointed, I don’t think the scoreline fully reflects how we contributed to the game, it was very competitive for a stage. There were two spurts in the game where they kind of really got away from us. Now we showed great character in the second quarter and we gave them a good hiding in the second quarter to be right back in it at half-time, but third quarter, I think it was 30 points to 9, we just couldn’t find the baskets, and as I said everything was going in for them. So look, (I’m) disappointed, but there’s lots of positives to take going forward.”

Ireland’s next Group A game is away against Switzerland on February 24th, followed by a home game against Cyprus three days later.

“We won’t get the team back together probably until then, but look we can review a lot of tape and feed things to the players, where we think we can obviously improve on, and then areas where we have done really well that we want to keep motoring on. So yeah, look we’ll take stock of everything, and we’ll try and get our house in order now for February in window two,” Keenan added.

Scores (Ireland v Austria):

Q1:  13-28 (13-28)

Q2:  28-15 (41-43)

Q3:  9-30 (50-73)

Q4:  20-24 (70-97)

Top 5 scorers:

Ireland – John Carroll (23), Taiwo Badmus (21), Sean Flood (12), Jordan Blount (8), Brian Fitzpatrick (4)

Austria - Thomas Klepeisz (25), Bogic Vujosevic (19), Renato Poljak (13), Erol Antonio Ersek (12), Guylain Mbemba and Marvin Ogunsipe (both 10)

Ireland - Taiwo Badmus (21), Jordan Blount (8), John Carroll (23), Brian Fitzpatrick (4), Sean Flood (12), Kyle Hosford (0), James Gormley (0), Stephen James (0), Lorcan Murphy (2) Adrian O’Sullivan (0), Eoin Quigley (0), Ciaran Roe (0).

Austria – Bogic Vujosevic (19), Thomas Klepeisz (25), Guylain Mbemba (10), Jozo Rados (2), Renato Poljak (13), Erol Antonio Ersek (12), Daniel Johannes Köppel (0), Valentin Bauer (DNP), Jakob Szkutta (3), Jakob Lohr (3), Marvin Ogunsipe (10), Jakob Maximillian Wonisch (0).