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Horace Jenkins converted two crucial free throws in the final minute that helped give Hapoel Jerusalem a narrow 84-82 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion in a BSL Matchday 13 game at Malha Arena Sunday night.
Maccabi Tel Aviv enjoyed a big game from Sharon Shason and had no problem in beating Elitzur Ashkelon 95-66 at Nokia Arena.
Hapoel Tel Aviv, Ironi Nahariya and Bnei Hasharon also registered easy wins.
Hapoel Jerusalem 84, Maccabi Rishon 82
Jenkins started the game with fury as he scored 10 points in the first quarter and gave the hosts a 19-12 lead.
Omar Sneed kept Rishon in the game after he scored all his team's points in a quick 8-2 run in the second quarter. Sneed led his team in scoring with 20 points.
Meir Tapiro buried two consecutive three-pointers to keep Jerusalem in the lead and it finished the first half with a 50-40 advantage.
Rishon came out strong at the start of the second half and cut Jerusalem's lead down to just three points thanks to Lee Matthews's two straight baskets from beyond the arc.
With a minute left, Rishon's Ryan Sidney tied the game at 82 with a three pointer.
Jenkins was then fouled and nailed both shots before each team failed in subsequent attempts to score again.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 95, Elitzur Ashkelon 66
Maccabi started Sharon Shason in place of Nikola Vujcic, who didn't dress for the game.
The change in the starting lineup did not affect Maccabi's game, as Anthony Parker was virtually unstoppable. Parker finished with 11 points in just 24 minutes of play.
Derrick Sharp was on target from long distance, as he shot three three-pointers in the second period and led the yellow-and-blue to a 49-28 lead at halftime.
Shason stepped up his game in the second half. The versatile forward finished with 12 points, 10 boards and seven assists.
Sharp had a big offensive night as he scored 20 points, including six three-pointers from nine attempts. Tal Burstein added 10 points.
Moshe Mizrahi and Brian Tolbert scored 16 points each for the visitors. James Head had 11 points in the game.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 69, Ramat Hasharon 61 (OT)
Ramat Hasharon got off to a poor start when swingman Terrence Shannon was whistled for his third foul towards the end of the first quarter and was taken out of the game.
Hapoel took full advantage of the situation and took the lead in the second quarter. Herve Lamizana came off the bench and led the reds to a 44-39 halftime lead.
The visitors were in front for most of the second half and led 58-49 going into the final period, but Roey Berkowitz scored five quick points to spark a Ramat Hasharon comeback that tied the game at 61-61 and forced overtime.
Hapoel shut the hosts down in the extra period.
Ironi Nahariya 104, Ironi Ramat Gan 90
Ramat Gan opened up a 17-9 lead after six minutes, but Nahariya recovered in the second period with Alvin Young attacking the rim and cutting into the lead. Young finished with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Tunji Awojobi scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds, but Ramat Gan was no match for the visitors. Jason Gardner had 17 points and seven assists for the hosts.
Bnei Hasharon 84, Givat Shmuel 67
Bnei Hasharon produced a spirited team effort as six players scored in double figures in the an easy win.
Ousmane Cisse dominated the boards and left Givat Shmuel helpless as he finished with 11 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks. Ugonna Onyekwe added 21 points for the hosts.