Hapoel Jerusalem guard Curtis Jerrells scored 22 points in last night’s 89-74 win at Olimpija Ljubljana in Eurocup action..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Jerusalem continued its promising start to the Eurocup regular season on Wednesday night, beating Olimpija Ljubljana 89-74 in Slovenia to improve to 2-0 in Group D.
After opening the regular season with an impressive road win against Valencia in Spain last week, Jerusalem was desperate to build momentum with another victory away from home.
Hapoel had its record 14-game BSL regular season winning streak snapped by a previously winless Hapoel Gilboa/Galil on Saturday night and had no intention of taking Ljubljana lightly. It led by just two points at halftime (41-39), but moved up a gear in the second half and is well placed to not only advance to the Top 16, but to finish top of its group.
Three of Hapoel’s next four Eurocup games will be played at the Jerusalem Arena, with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar of Russia visiting Israel next Wednesday.
Jerusalem also faces Ulm of Germany in Group D, with the top four to progress to the Top 16.
Tarence Kinsey led Hapoel with 23 points in Slovenia, while Curtis Jerrells had 22 points.
Amar’e Stoudemire had five points and seven rebounds.
Drazen Bubnic scored 17 for Ljubljana, which fell to 0-3.
A solid defensive effort saw Jerusalem open a seven-point margin (23-16) after 10 minutes on Wednesday and Hapoel’s lead reached double-digits (32-21) following Travis Peterson’s three-pointer. Jerusalem remained in front until the break, but saw its cushion reduced as the first half drew to a close, taking a mere twopoint advantage (41-39) into the break.
The game remained tight in the third period until Hapoel went on a 10-2 run to open an eight-point lead (60-52).
Lior Eliyahu’s basket ensured the visitors were still ahead by eight (62-54) entering the final frame and another field goal by the Israeli forward reestablished a double-digit gap (67-56).
A Jerrells’ triple took the lead to 16 points (77-61) with 4:20 minutes to play, clinching another road victory for Hapoel.