Womens basketball Elitzur Ramle 311.
(photo credit: FIBA Europe website)
Elitzur Ramle’s hopes of claiming an historic European title are hanging in the
balance after the first leg of the Eurocup final against Arras of France on
Thursday night ended in a 61-61 tie in Ramle.
The Israelis trailed by as
many as 12 points in the final quarter, but fought back to tie the game with
seven seconds to play and now need to win the return leg in France next Thursday
to become the first Israeli women’s basketball team to lift a continental
“We will need to play much better next week,” Ramle coach Adan
Inbar said. “I must admit that we didn’t play well tonight and now we will have
to win on the road.”
Le’Coe Willingham led Ramle with 23 points and seven
rebounds, with Tanasha Wright adding 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Doron left the game with an ankle injury in the first period, but came back to
score nine points for Ramle, which hit an abysmal 9.5 percent from three-point
range (2 of 21).
Olesia Malashenko had 18 points for Arras, which has won
all six of its home games in the Eurocup so far this season.
struggled to find the basket at the start the game, with the score tied at 6-6
after more than eight minutes of action.
However, Arras would be the
first to find its range, going on a 7-0 run, capped by a Malashenko
three-pointer, in the final 48 seconds of the first period to take a 13-8 lead
into the second quarter after scoring just six points in the first nine
A Sarah Michel triple extended the margin to 11 points (22-11)
with 6:40 to play in the first half, but the hosts limited the damage slightly
by the break, trailing 33-26 at halftime.
A Wright lay-up midway through
the third period brought Ramle within a single point (37-36), but Arras opened
an eight-point gap (45-37) by the end of the frame and Malashenko’s basket with
just over seven minutes remaining gave the visitors a record 12-point lead
However, Ramle slowly ate away at the deficit and Willingham’s
basket with seven seconds to play tied the score at 61-61, and the tie is wide
open ahead of next week’s second leg.
Also Thursday, Maccabi Tel Aviv
beat Maccabi Rishon Lezion 80-72 in BSL action in Holon in a game brought
forward from Sunday to help the yellow-and-blue prepare for its Euroleague
quarterfinal playoff series against Caja Laboral Vitoria, which begins next
“We didn’t play well tonight in large periods of the game and we
will need to learn from this ahead of next week,” said Tel Aviv coach David
Blatt, whose team has won 15 straight league games. “We will have to be at our
best to have a chance to win a game in Vitoria next week.”
had 19 points for Maccabi, with David Blu and Lior Eliyahu adding 15 points
Raymar Morgan scored 21 points for Rishon, which has lost four of
Rishon opened an early nine-point advantage (15-6) thanks to
a Morgan basket, but Maccabi scored the next nine points to tie the game and
ended the first half with a 24-5 run to establish a comfortable 14-point cushion
(43-29) at the break.
Rishon closed to within three points (47-44) midway
through the third frame, but the yellow-and-blue seemed to always be in control
and an 11-0 run gave it a 68-53 lead early in the fourth quarter which it was
never going to lose.