Mac TA rights the ship by coasting in BSL

Yellow-and-blue still trails undefeated Jerusalem, Rishon in standings ; Holon handles Haifa.

November 18, 2014 00:46
2 minute read.
Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

After suffering two unprecedented defeats in the BSL, Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to winning ways in local action on Monday night, cruising to an 89-74 victory over Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil in Gan Ner.

Maccabi lost by 20 points to cross-town rival Hapoel Tel Aviv last week – its first home defeat in the derby in 22 years - a week after being crushed by 30 points at Hapoel Jerusalem, the yellowand- blue’s heaviest-ever loss in the BSL.

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Maccabi has only once suffered a losing streak longer than two games in Israeli league action in club history, back in the 2007/08 season when it dropped four in a row.

There was never any doubt Maccabi would triumph on Monday, opening the game with an 11-2 run and never losing control to improve to 5-2.

Jake Cohen’s three-pointer gave the visitors their first double- digit lead of the night (18-6) and Maccabi took a stranglehold of proceedings with an 11-3 surge (31-14) to start the second quarter. Gilboa never came closer than 10 points and Maccabi had a 52-39 lead at the interval, with Cohen finishing the first half with 18 points.

A 9-0 Tel Aviv run to begin the second half ended any illusion Gilboa may have had of mounting a comeback, allowing coach Guy Goodes to rest players ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague game at Limoges.

Cohen finished his best game as a Maccabi player with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Yogev Ohayon added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Itay Segev had 14 points for Gilboa (2-5).

“I felt great,” said Cohen. “Our team had been down. We struggled a little in the past two weeks and we worked really hard in practice to get better and it paid off today. We hope the crisis is behind us. We are just going to try and keep getting better day by day.”

Also Monday, Hapoel Holon (4-3) eked out an 89-81 overtime win over Maccabi Haifa (3-4). Both teams looked lost in the first half, combining for 24 turnovers while hitting a total of 21 field goals.

Haifa had the better of the trench war, taking an eight-point gap (32-24) into the break. However, Holon would score more points in the third quarter than it managed in the entire first half, with a 10-2 run giving the hosts a 45-44 advantage.

There was little to separate the teams for the remainder of the night, with Haifa’s Jeff Allen tying the score at 71-71 with 30 seconds to play before Holon’s Guni Izraeli missed a chance to win the game for the hosts at the buzzer.

Izraeli would make up for it with his basket with 39 seconds to play in overtime, opening an 85-81 lead from which Haifa could not return.

Dominic McGuire had 18 points and seven rebounds for the winners, with Jordan Taylor adding 17 points for Holon, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Ike Ofoegbu scored 18 points for Haifa, which has lost three of four games.

“The guys deserve a lot of credit,” said Holon coach Elad Hasin, who was handed a two-year contract extension on Sunday. “The players showed a lot of character and determination.”

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