Hapoel Tel Aviv’v Raviv Limonad.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Tel Aviv snapped its recent slump in emphatic fashion on Sunday night, thrashing Ironi Ness Ziona 98-67 at Arik Einstein Arena.
Hapoel suffered surprise setbacks in its past two contests, against Ashdod and Rishon Lezion, but improved to 12-9 by dominating Ness Ziona.
A 13-3 run to end the first period saw Hapoel open a 26-18 lead and Ness Ziona came no closer than five points from there on out.
A Lamayn Wilson three-pointer cut Ness Ziona’s deficit to 34-29, but Hapoel scored 22 of the final 28 points of the first half to open a 21-point cushion (56-35) from which Ness Ziona was never going to come back.
Yancy Gates led six Tel Aviv players in double figures with 20 points and nine rebounds. Mitchell Watt had 18 points for the struggling Ness Ziona, which has dropped six straight games, falling to a losing record (10- 11) for the first time since losing its season opener to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv (18-2) will play its third game in five days when it hosts Maccabi Ashdod (6-14) and former coach Tzvika Sherf. Maccabi eked out a 93-91 win at Bnei Herzliya on Saturday, claiming its 14th straight BSL victory.
Devin Smith, who scored a BSL career-high 34 points against Herzliya and was named as the league’s MVP for the month of February, will sit out Monday’s game to rest ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague game at Red Star Belgrade, with Sofoklis Schortsanitis set to return from an ankle injury.
Hapoel Jerusalem (14-6) targets its fifth straight BSL game when it hosts Hapoel Holon (12-8), which will be aiming to rebound from its surprise setback against Ironi Nahariya last week after winning six of its seven previous games.
Hapoel Eilat (10-10) will be looking to make it two straight wins under new coach Arik Shivek when it visits Nahariya (8-12), which has won three straight games to boost its survival hopes.
Rock-bottom Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil (5-15) has lost eight consecutive contests and is still searching for its first win of 2015 entering its showdown with Maccabi Rishon Lezion (11-9).