Hapoel Jerusalem steadied the ship slightly on Sunday night, thrashing Bnei Herzliya 94-68 for its first road win of the season, improving to 2-3 in the BSL.
Jerusalem finally got off the mark in the BSL last week with a 90-71 win over Maccabi Ashdod at Malha Arena and Sunday’s resounding victory will help relieve even more pressure after last Wednesday’s disappointing defeat at BC Prienai of Lithuania in its Eurocup opener.
Jerusalem pulled ahead in the first quarter (23-15) and spent the second half building on its halftime lead (43-32) on the way to a comfortable win.
Craig Smith had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Hapoel, with Elishay Kadir and Courtney Fells scoring 15 points apiece.
Milt Palacio led Herzliya with 17 points.
Despite the escalating rocket fire from Gaza, Maccabi Ashdod’s game against Ironi Ashkelon went ahead as planned on Sunday, with the hosts finally claiming their first victory of the BSL season, winning 82-68.
Both teams entered the encounter with a 0-4 record, but Ashdod burst out of the gates, outscoring its opponent 27-12 and maintaining control until the final buzzer.
Chris Allen had 23 points for Ashdod, with Diamon Simpson scoring 21.
Marcus Moore led the sorry Ashkelon with 19 points.
Maccabi Tel Aviv toyed with Hapoel Gilboa/Galil for much of the first half at Nokia Arena on Sunday before claiming a 94- 62 win.
The yellow-and-blue would put its foot to the gas in the second half, outscoring the visitors 28-16 in the third period to open a 20-point margin (67- 47), rendering the final 10 minutes as garbage time.
Giorgi Shermadini and Ricky Hickman led five Maccabi players in double figures with 12 points, while Mitchell Watt scored 16 for Gilboa, which dropped to 0-5, losing its games by an average 16.4 points.
Hapoel Eilat also moved to 4- 1 on Sunday, edging Hapoel Holon 77-73 in a tightly contested encounter in Israel’s southernmost city.
Holon had a one-point advantage (39-38) at the interval and the score was tied (57-57) with seven minutes remaining.
However, the hosts had the better of the closing stages and had Austin Freeman to thank for pushing them over the finishing line.
Freeman, as well as Jerome Tillman and Scotty Hopson, ended the game with 15 points, with Eli Holman adding 14 points and 15 boards for Eilat.
Frank Hassell had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Holon.
On Monday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Rishon Lezion visits Barak Netanya, which is the league’s only remaining unbeaten team.
Stay on top of the news - get the Jerusalem Post headlines direct to your inbox!