yogev ohayon hapoel jerusalem_311.
(photo credit: (Hapoel Jerusalem website))
Hapoel Jerusalem improved to 2-0 in Group G of the Eurocup in impressive fashion on Tuesday night, beating Cajasol Sevilla 76-72 on the road.
Sevilla was considered to be the strongest team in the group when the regular season draw was made, but Jerusalem proved that it can do more than compete with the Spaniards, clinching the victory in dramatic style behind Will Solomon’s 24 points.
Also Tuesday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil dropped to a disappointing 92-83 Eurocup defeat to Aris Thessaloniki at Malha Arena, while Barak Netanya claimed its first EuroChallenge victory of the season, beating the Norrkoping Dolphins 71-64 at home.
In Spain, a tight first period ended with Sevilla ahead by four points (20-16), but Jerusalem dominated the second quarter with its defense and opened a significant lead.
Hapoel held Cajasol to six points in the first seven minutes of the period and a Solomon three-pointer opened a 36-26 advantage.
The visitors took a doubledigit gap into the second half (40-29), but lost it within less than three minutes.
Sevilla began the third quarter with a 13-1 run, with Paul Davis’ two points giving the hosts a 42-41 advantage.
However, Hapoel came right back and was ahead 57-51 with 10 minutes to play.
Another Solomon triple extended Jerusalem’s cushion to 62-53, but the Spaniards never lost touch, with Juan Jose Triguero’s free throws bringing the hosts within a single point (64-63).
An extremely tight game would ensue and the winner would be decided in the final minute.
With Hapoel leading 73-72, Jason Rich stole the ball and his lay-up at the other end with 25 seconds remaining gave Jerusalem the breathing space it needed to secure the win.
At Malha, Aris looked much sharper at the start of the game and took a 10-point margin (22-12) into the second period with Bryant Dunston’s basket to end the first quarter.
However, the hosts slowly got back into the game, and Rodney Green’s basket sent Gilboa into the break down by just two points (38-36).
Thessaloniki led for most of the third frame, but Hapoel surged ahead in the final two minutes, with a Leo Lyons layup giving Gilboa a 63-61 lead with 10 minutes to play.
The hosts increased their gap to as many as five points in the fourth period, only to lose the momentum at the crucial moment.
A fortuitous Nikos Hatzivrettas three-pointer as the shot clock expired with less than two minutes to play opened a 84-79 margin for the visitors, breaking Gilboa hearts and effectively securing the crucial road win.
Jack McClinton led Gilboa with 20 points, with Warren Carter adding 14 points and nine rebounds.
Christos Tapoutos and Anthony Tucker scored 24 points each for the Greeks, who outscored Gilboa 31-20 in the fourth quarter.
“We had too many ups and downs during the game,” Gilboa coach Lior Lubin
said. “Aris made the most of their opportunity and we paid the price
for our poor defense.”
In Netanya, the hosts led 19- 16 after 10 minutes and Elton Brown’s basket gave the team a 35-24 advantage at halftime.
The hosts remained in control in the third, but the Swedes ate away at
the margin in the fourth quarter and an Andrew Mitchell basket with 1:29
to play tied the game at 64-64.
However, Adrian Banks would score six straight points in the final 40
seconds for Netanya, giving the hosts a moral boosting victory.
Banks had 27 points for Netanya, which also got 12 points and 12 rebounds from Brown.