Behind Jamil Warney’s usual defense and a rediscovered shooting touch, Seoul SK snapped a three-game losing streak against Seoul Samsung in a regional rivalry.
SK beat Samseong 82-75 on Tuesday at Jamsil Student Gymnasium in Seoul on its third straight home game of the 2023-24 Korean Basketball Association regular season to jump to third place in the standings with a 7-4 record. Meanwhile, Samsung (2-10), which dropped its eighth straight league game, became the first team in the KBL to lose 19 straight away games.
Warney led SK’s offense with 31 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes of action, while Oh Se-geun added 15 points and eight rebounds. Kim Sun-hyung, Heo Il-young, and Choi Buk-kyung each scored eight points. Ahn Young-jun, who was playing his second game after being discharged from the military, was limited to two points as he got into foul trouble.
After the game, SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul said, “The players didn’t operate properly in the first quarter as they didn’t give the ball to Warney, who was defended by Lee Won-seok, and only looked at their own offense.” “From the second quarter, we were able to win because of our promised defense and offense,” he said.
Samsung was led by Lee Jung-hyun with 21 points, including five three-pointers, and seven rebounds and five assists, but Kofi Coburn (16 points, 13 rebounds) was double-teamed and didn’t play up to his scoring average (25.25 ppg). Lee Won-seok, who scored 10 points, shot just 18.2 percent from the field.
“Unlike the previous game, our will and enthusiasm to end the losing streak was good, but it was unfortunate that we couldn’t continue until the end,” said Samsung coach Eun Hee-seok, adding, “It’s painful that we lost key players to injury.”
After Oh’s layup was blocked by Lee Won-seok, Coburn scored the first points from under the basket. Lee Jung-hyun hit back-to-back three-pointers, and SK’s Heo Il-young answered from beyond the arc. After being held to three points for the first five minutes of the game, SK rattled off 11 straight points with Warney as the answer. Kim Sun-hyung’s fast break set the tone for the end of the first quarter, bringing SK within seven points.
In the second quarter, Samsung’s offensive rebounding efforts paid off as Lee Won-seok and Lee Jung-hyun hit midrange shots, but SK responded with a strong offense led by Warney and Choi Buk-kyung. Oh Se-geun then drew a foul and hit a three-pointer to tie the game. Samsung’s offense was led by Kim Si-rae and Lee Jung-hyun, but they couldn’t stop Oh Se-geun and Kim Sun-hyung, allowing them to take a two-point lead.
It was a battle of pride between Coburn and Warney early in the second half. After being blocked by Warney, Coburn scored on the next possession and Warney hit a hook shot. Capitalizing on back-to-back offensive rebounds, SK shut down Coburn with a double-team defense and Warney hit a fastbreak dunk to extend the lead to six points.
In the fourth quarter, SK’s bench dominated Samsung’s starters. Oh Jae-hyun’s layup and Choi Won-hyuk’s three-pointer pushed the lead to double digits, while Coburn was locked up by Warney and Choi Boo-kyung. While Samsung was caught off guard by the fastbreak miscues, Heo Il-young hit a midrange shot and Warney attacked the rim with a spin move. Samsung lost the momentum by giving up an offensive rebound.