Hapoel Jerusalem got its Eurocup campaign back on track on Wednesday night with a dramatic 92-90 win over Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd of Russia at the Jerusalem Arena, benefiting from a massive slice of luck after the visitors missed an open layup at the buzzer which would have sent the game to overtime.
Jerusalem overcame the absence of Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin and an injury to Josh Duncan, who left for the dressing room with a concussion in the first half. The game would come down to the closing minutes, with the already shorthanded Jerusalem looking to be in real trouble after star forward Donta Smith fouled out with 3:21 minutes to play.
However, Tony Gaffney’s three-pointer with 1:19 remaining brought the game level (86- 86) and E.J. Rowland’s triple with 21 seconds left opened a three-point margin. Volgograd had a chance to force overtime after Matt Janning missed one of his two free-throw attempts, but Jajuan Johnson somehow failed to score with the basket at his mercy and Jerusalem survived.