Jerusalem fights back, slays Bnei Hasharon in OT

Hapoel Jerusalem came back from a second half double-digit deficit to defeat Bnei Hasharon 102-93 in overtime at Malha Arena.

Hapoel Jerusalem 311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem 311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem claimed its sixth BSL victory in seven games on Saturday night, coming back from a second half double-digit deficit to defeat Bnei Hasharon 102-93 in overtime at Malha Arena.
Bnei Hasharon led throughout the second half until Dion Dowell tied the score at 83-83 with 9.2 seconds to play, sending the game into an overtime period which was dominated by Hapoel.
Will Solomon led Jerusalem with 26 points – eight of them in overtime – and 14 assists, with Moshe Mizrahi adding 19 points.
“It was a pretty good game,” Solomon said. “They came in here and fought hard, but we put on a performance for our fans and guys stepped up in the absence of Brian Randle and Yogev Ohayon.”
Jason Rich scored 18 points for Hapoel, which hosts Cajasol Sevilla in its final Eurocup regular season game on Tuesday in a showdown for a place in the last 16.
Lee Nailon had 23 points and Shawn James added 17 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks for Bnei Hasharon, which has lost three straight BSL games since defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv.
On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in Gan Ner.
Maccabi is close to adding Serbian forward Milan Macvan to its roster, with the 21-yearold Hemofarm Vrsac player agreeing personal terms with the team over the weekend.
Also Sunday, Barak Netanya hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion, with Maccabi Ashdod visiting Ironi Ashkelon on Monday.
At Malha, Jerusalem took the early initiative and led 24-18 after 10 minutes despite.
However, the hosts would score just three points in the first five minutes of the second period, and a Nailon basket gave Bnei Hasharon a 31-29 lead.
The visitors still had the edge at halftime (35-33), after holding Hapoel to nine points in the entire second quarter, and opened a double-digit margin (50-40) with an 11-3 run midway through the third frame.
A Sharon Sasson triple ensured Bnei Hasharon was still in the driver’s seat (60-51) with 10 minutes to play, but Jerusalem would never give up the chase and a thrilling 10 minutes would ensue.
A Filiberto Rivera three maintained Bnei Hasharon’s comfortable gap (70-60), but Hapoel would get right back into the game with a 9-0 run, only for the visitors to take an 80-76 advantage into the final minute.
But Dan Shamir’s men could not close out the game, and a Dowell three with 9.2 seconds to play tied the score at 83-83.
The game went into overtime after Dan Grunfeld missed a shot from beyond the arc at the buzzer and the extra five minutes were completely controlled by the hosts.
Solomon scored eight points and Yuval Naimi netted seven of his 14, with the hosts outscoring Bnei Hasharon 19-10 in overtime to claim a confidenceboosting win ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Eurocup encounter.