Langford leads Rishon to victory in debut

Last season’s top scorer in the Euroleague nets 20 in victory over Bnei Herzliya.

March 27, 2018 08:18
2 minute read.
Langford leads Rishon to victory in debut

Maccabi Rishon Lezion guard Keith Langford (right) scored 20 points in his debut for the team last night, a 97-91 win over Bnei Herzliya in BSL action. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)

Keith Langford came within a single point of his BSL career-high in his debut for Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Monday night, scoring 20 points to help his new team back to winning ways with a 97-91 victory over Bnei Herzliya.

Langford, who played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2011/12, only arrived in Israel late Thursday night, but didn’t need long with his new side to show he still has what it takes to dominate on the offensive end in the BSL. Last season’s top scorer in the Euroleague, averaging 21.75 points per game for Unics Kazan, needed just 27 minutes to reach his team-high tally on Monday, while also registering five rebounds and five assists.

Langford began this season at Shenzhen Leopards in China, but hadn’t played in recent months. He admitted to being rusty, but still gave Rishon a much-needed boost after Shmulik Brenner’s team had lost four of its previous five games.

“I’m pretty tired,” said Langford. “I didn’t expect to play so much but I’m here to play not to sit down. As I get some wind and a little rhythm we should be good.”

Drew Crawford added 20 points for Rishon, which improved to 9-12.

Shawn Dawson scored 29 points for Herzliya, which fell to 8-13 after previously winning five of six contests.

Rock-bottom Maccabi Haifa finally got back on track with a 98-95 win over Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil, improving to 7-14.

Oz Blayzer scored 25 points for Haifa in a rare perfect shooting night. The young Israeli forward hit both his shots from two-point range, all four of his attempts from beyond the arc and nine of nine shots from the free-throw line. Just like last week, Haifa squandered a 20-point margin, but at least this time it managed to eke out the victory.

“We lose our composure when we have a big lead and we need to learn from this and finish off games better,” said Blayzer.

J’Covan Brown scored 31 points for Gilboa, which fell to 9-12.

Maccabi Ashdod strengthened its hold on fourth place, improving to 12-9 with a 75-63 win over Hapoel Eilat (10-11).

Sek Henry scored 18 points for Ashdod.

In other news, Hapoel Jerusalem announced the signing of 23-year-old forward Ben Carter on Sunday. Hapoel coach Oded Katash said after Saturday’s impressive win at Hapoel Holon that he would like to bring in another player, even if only to create more competition in training, and Carter should fill that role after ending his season with Michigan State. Carter was born in Israel and has dual citizenship, with his father Mike playing 11 seasons in Israel, including one season for Hapoel Jerusalem (1988/89).

Ben was born in Tel Aviv before the family relocated to Las Vegas.

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