Yellow-and-blue outlasts Jerusalem in thriller

Maccabi claims tight win over biggest rival thanks to Alexander’s late dunk, improving to 6-1 in BSL

November 20, 2016 23:57
2 minute read.
Sonny Weems

Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Sonny Weems (right) had 10 points in last night’s 85-83 win over Hapoel Jerusalem and Jerome Dyson at Yad Eliyahu Arena.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

Joe Alexander’s dunk with 3.2 seconds to play gave Maccabi Tel Aviv an 85-83 win over Hapoel Jerusalem at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Sunday night, opening a three-game gap in the BSL standings between Israeli basketball’s powerhouses.

Maccabi, which entered the game on the back of two straight Euroleague victories, improved to 6-1, coming back from a double- digit deficit in the second half to claim its first win over Jerusalem after five consecutive losses stretching back to last season.

Jerusalem suffered its fourth straight defeat over all competitions, falling to 3-4 in the BSL.

D.J. Seeley had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Maccabi, with Lior Eliyahu scoring 14 points for Jerusalem.

Maccabi opened the game with a quick 7-0 run, but Jerusalem replied immediately, going on 10-2 surge within two minutes to take its first lead of the night.

There was little to separate the teams in the remainder of the first period, with Tel Aviv leading by a single point (25-24) entering the second quarter. Hapoel opened the first double-digit margin of the night with a 14-4 run (41-31), but the hosts scored the next eight points and Jerusalem led by just four points (46-42) at the break.

Hapoel took a 10-point lead once more in the third quarter (62- 52) and was ahead by seven points (69-62) entering the final 10 minutes. An 18-3 Maccabi run to start the period shifted the momentum in favor of the hosts (80-72), but the game would ultimately only be decided in the final minute.

Amar’e Stoudemire’s dunk tied the score with 11.3 seconds remaining, only for Alexander to find himself wide open for an easy basket at the other end, which proved to be the go-ahead basket after Dyson missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Bnei Herzliya climbed over .500 for the first time this season on Sunday, beating Maccabi Kiryat Gat 79-64 behind another excellent performance from up-and-coming Israeli forward Karam Mashour.

The 25-year-old missed out on his fourth consecutive double- double, but led Herzliya with 21 points, while also grabbing six rebounds.

Mashour is averaging 13.8 points and 10.3 rebounds on the season.

Justin Carter’s three-pointer to start the fourth quarter brought Kiryat Gat within five points (56- 51), but Herzliya replied with an 8-0 run, capped by a Mashour three-point play, to open a double- digit gap (64-51) which Kiryat Gat never threatened to erase.

Tyshawn Taylor had 13 points for Kiryat Gat, which fell to 2-5.

After winning just one of its first five games, Ironi Nahariya made it two straight victories with Sunday’s 81-71 triumph at Hapoel Eilat. A 16-2 run to end the first half gave Nahariya a 15-point cushion (44-29) and the visitors cruised after the break.

Gilbert Brown netted 21 points for Nahariya, with Landon Milbourne scoring 13 points for Eilat, which dropped to 2-5.

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