Local Hoops: Haifa downs Bnei Hasharon on PJ Tucker’s debut

Jason Rich scores 18 points for Maccabi, with Richard Roby adding 17, in 82-65 victory.

Maccabi Haifa maintained its place in the BSL’s top four on Monday night with an impressive 82-65 victory over Bnei Hasharon.
After a tight first half, Haifa outscored Bnei Hasharon 27-9 in the third period and sailed to the victory in the final 10 minutes.
“We were superb on defense and I’m very pleased with our overall play,” Haifa coach Avi Ashkenzai said.
Jason Rich scored 18 points for Haifa, with Richard Roby adding 17 points.
P.J. Tucker scored 19 points in his debut for Bnei Hasharon, which has lost four straight games and faces a battle to qualify for the top eight playoffs.
Rich scored the final points of the first period to bring Haifa within six points (23-17), but Bnei Hasharon began the second quarter with six straight points to open a double-digit lead.
Points were at a premium in the remainder of the first half, butthe hosts slowly ate away at the gap and trailed by just one point(36-35) at the break after Mamadou N’diaye’s basket.
Haifadominated at the start of the second half and a 14-0 run, capped by aDror Hagag three-pointer, gave it a stranglehold on the encounter.
Thehosts led by as many as 17 points (62-45) at the end of the thirdperiod and for all Bnei Hasharon’s efforts in the final 10 minutes,Haifa had no real trouble holding on to an important victory.