Mac TA streaks on by edging Holon; Sherf’s Rishon triumphs

Maccabi Tel Aviv extended its winning streak in all competitions to eight games on Monday night.

December 31, 2013 04:27
2 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Devin Smith.

Maccabi Tel Aviv's Devin Smith 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Tel Aviv extended its winning streak in all competitions to eight games on Monday night, while Tzvika Sherf guided Maccabi Rishon Lezion to a victory over Ironi Ness Ziona in his first BSL game in more than five years.

Tel Aviv looked to be on course for a comfortable victory after Tyrese Rice’s threepointer to end the first half opened a 14-point gap (48-34).

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The yellow-and-blue still held a double-digit cushion (67-56) with 10 minutes to play, but scored just six points in the first eight minutes of the fourth period and Holon closed to within just two points (75-73) following Guni Izraeli’s basket with 1:30 to play.

Laurence Bowers missed a chance to tie the score with 12 seconds remaining when he was blocked by Devin Smith, but the visitors were gifted another opportunity to send the game to overtime with 1.6 seconds to play, only for Isaac Rosefelt to miss both his freethrow attempts, handing Maccabi a 77-75 win.

“We played three good quarters and one very bad one, but we recorded another win and that is what matters,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt, whose team improved to 8-4 with its third-straight league victory.

Ricky Hickman led the hosts with 17 points, with Alex Tyus and Smith scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Maccabi, which visits Galatasaray in its Euroleague Top 16 opener on Thursday.

Bowers had 23 points and nine rebounds for Holon (6-6).

Elsewhere, former Maccabi coach Sherf led Rishon to its second win in five days on Monday night, with his team beating Ironi Ness Ziona 83-74.

Rishon advanced to the State Cup semifinals with a victory over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in Sherf’s return to Israeli basketball on Thursday and recorded another promising triumph on Monday.

Rishon opened a seven-point margin (27-20) after 10 minutes and never relinquished the lead. The hosts took a ninepoint gap (48-39) into the second half and never allowed Ness Ziona to come closer than six points to improve to 4-8.

Tasmin Mitchell had 25 points and seven rebounds for Rishon, with new signing Davin White scoring 15 points in his debut.

Anthony Goods scored 18 points for Ness Ziona (7-5), which lost its second straight BSL game and was also knocked out in the last 16 of the State Cup by Hapoel Tel Aviv last week.

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