hapoel jerusalem 88.
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Mario Austin scored the first seven points in the second half as part of a 13-2 run that broke the game open as Hapoel Jerusalem coasted to a 97-78 win over Ramat Hasharon Saturday night at Malha in an early BSL Matchday 17 game.
The game was moved up 24 hours to give the hosts extra time to prepare for Tuesday's deciding second-leg ULEB Cup quarterfinal against Lottomatica Roma.
It sure didn't look like it would be a laugher early on. A stubborn visiting side led 41-36 late in the second quarter and held on to keep the score tied at 41 at halftime.
However, Jerusalem erupted for 32 third-quarter points to take a commanding lead.
With the hosts up by 23 and five minutes to go, coach Erez Edelstein turned the remainder of the night into extended garbage time. But even then Hapoel took its biggest lead of the night, 92-67, as the reserves tried to prove to the coach that they are worthy of more minutes.
Roger Mason Jr. led all scorers with 27 points, followed by Horace Jenkins with 25. Austin finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and Meri Tapiro dished out a game-high seven assists.
David Logan led the visitors with 19, Jeremy Veal added 16 and Patrick Okafor 15.
On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv will try to avoid any bumps in the road before facing Climamio Bologna in a crucial Euroleague game on Thursday when it hosts Ironi Ramat Gan. Tel Aviv will be without power forward Maceo Baston, who is serving the second game of his twogame suspension for fighting with Gili Mosinson it the Tel Aviv derby two weeks ago.
Tal Burstein, who turned his ankle in Thursday's Euroleague win over Ulker Istanbul, is questionable. Jamie Arnold, the star against Ulker, and team captain Derrick Sharp, are expected to start in their place.
Bnei Hasharon will be without the suspended Adam Harrington and Terrence Rencher when it hosts Ironi Nahariya, while Hapoel Tel Aviv travels north to meet Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan.
Matchday 17 will draw to a close on Monday when Maccabi Rishon and Maccabi Givat Shmuel meet in Or Yehuda. Elitzur Ashkelon has a bye week.
On TV: Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan vs Hapoel Tel Aviv (live on Sport5, with reports from the Bnei Hasharon vs Ironi Nahariya and Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Ironi Ramat Gan games).
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