Ness Ziona shocks Maccabi TA in dramatic fashion

Ironi Ness Ziona recorded its biggest win in club history, stunning Maccabi Tel Aviv 72-71 in BSL action.

David Blatt 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
David Blatt 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Ironi Ness Ziona recorded its biggest win in club history on Monday night, stunning Maccabi Tel Aviv 72-71 in BSL action.
It seemed Maccabi had finally found its form following the 96- 82 Euroleague win over Red Star Belgrade last week. However, the yellow-and-blue dropped to 1-2 in the BSL on Monday after squandering a nine-point (58- 49) lead in the fourth quarter.
Newly-promoted Ness Ziona was playing just its third ever game in the top-flight, but it never lost faith against its illustrious opponent and claimed its second victory in three games.
A Tyler Honeycutt three-point play gave Ness Ziona a 12-point cushion (28-16) in the second quarter, but Maccabi replied with a 12-0 run and the visitors led by a single point (34-33) at the break.
A Sylven Landesberg jumper gave Tel Aviv a 58-49 gap with 6:44 minutes to play, but Ness Ziona never gave up the chase and a Preston Knowles three with 2.9 seconds remaining secured the hosts a memorable win.
Knowles ended the night with 22 points, while Mitchell Watt scored 15 points.
Shawn James had 26 points and 18 rebounds for Maccabi, but couldn’t help his team avoid another humbling defeat.
Earlier Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem claimed its first BSL victory of the season, defeating the previously unbeaten Hapoel Eilat 91-75 at Malha Arena.
Jerusalem clinched the win thanks to a dominant fourth quarter, going on a 16-0 run to open an unassailable gap (86- 69).
Yotam Halperin led Jerusalem with 19 points and five assists on Monday, connecting on just one of seven two-point attempts, but scoring 5-of-7 three pointers.
Josh Duncan and Ronald Dupree netted 15 and 14 points, respectively, with Derwin Kitchen contributing nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
“This was a very important win for us,” said Halperin. “We played exactly the way we wanted to for 30 minutes. I’m under pressure in every game and my goal and the goal of the team is to be as consistent as possible.”
Christian Watford had 21 points for Eilat.