Hapoel Jerusalem led just once during Saturday night’s game against Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Drive In Arena, but it did so when it mattered most.
Guard E.J. Rowland scored the go-ahead basket with 31.5 seconds to play, giving the visitors an 80-79 advantage on the way to an 81-79 win, improving Jerusalem’s record in the BSL to 6-2.
Tel Aviv didn’t trail until that stage, holding a slender lead for much of the night, including what looked to be a crucial seven-point (79-72) gap with just under three minutes to play. However, it would go scoreless in the final 2:55 minutes of the contest, allowing Jerusalem to eke out the win.
D’or Fischer led Jerusalem with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Donta Smith added 15 points and Lior Eliyahu scored 14 points in his first BSL game in nearly a month after recovering from a broken finger.
“We showed a lot of character,” said Eliyahu. “I felt everyone gave their all on the court even when we weren’t playing that well.”