2007-08Regular SeasonRound 7
December 06, 2007 CET: 19:50
Local time: 20:50 NOKIA ARENA
Terence Morris - Maccabi Elite Maccabi Elite built a big early lead and then held off Aris TT Bank’s late charge for an 85-70 win on Thursday night at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. The victory saw the Israeli champs improve to 5-2 at the midway point of the regular season, joining Unicaja and Liteuvos Rytas for a three-way tie of first place in Group B. David Bluthenthal and Marcus Fizer scored all the points as Maccabi started the game with a 10-0 run and never looked back. The lead grew to 23 in the second period before the teams headed to the locker rooms at 50-30. Bracey Wright led Aris back in the third and the visitors cut the gap to 10, but in the fourth, Maccabi matched every Aris basket until the hosts pulled away once more to the delight of their fans. Bluthenthal scored a season-high 20 points and matched his career best with 8 rebounds to lead the winners. Terence Morris was also instrumental with 19 points and 9 boards, while Fizer finished with 12. Wright paced Aris with 19, Jeremiah Massey added 13 and Terrel Castle had 10.

Terrel Castle - Aris TT Bank After a scoreless opening minute, Bluthenthal got the hosts on the scoreboard first with a tip-in. Two baskets inside by Fizer, and a Bluthenthal jumper paved the way as Maccabi started the game 10-0. Aris head coach Gordon Herbert used an early timeout and benched his star player Massey. Reyshawn Terry finally got Aris in the books with a triple, but Fizer answered with a mid-range jumper. Hanno Mottola added an Aris basket, but the hosts were in complete control. Lazaros Agadakos’s long jumper made it 16-9 and he soon struck again to get the visitors within 5, but Fizer scored another bucket and Yotam Halperin hit a three as Maccabi went up 21-13. Wright scored his first point from the line before Lior Eliyahu fed Morris for a slam to end the period with the hosts up 23-14.

Vonteego Cummings opened the second period with a three and baskets by Morris and Bluthenthal made it 30-15. Massey finally made an impact on the game, drawing a foul and sinking 2 free throws, however Will Bynum fed Morris for a two-handed slam that brought the crows to its feet and another jumper from a red-hot Bluthenthal saw Aris use another timeout trailing 34-17. Aris came back with a Dimitrios Tsaldaris jumper, but Bluthenthal drilled another triple to give him a season-high of 15 points already with fewer than 15 minutes played. Massey fired in a jump shot and Mottola added a free throw, but Esteban Batista kept the hosts up and then fed Morris to put Maccabi up 21. Mottola and Morris traded baskets before Batista padded the lead. Wright heated up, using a runner and then a jumper to cut the deficit to 50-30 at halftime.

Marcus Fizer and Dimitrios Tsaldaris  - Maccabi EliteHalperin scored the first points of the second half before Massey scored a three-point play. Wright’s second-chance basket gave the visitors a little hope and after Fizer was whistled for a technical, Wright hit free throws and then scored on a reverse layup to cut the gap to 15, but Eliyahu reassured Maccabi with a baseline jumper. However Agadakos kept the pressure on and when Massey sent Wright for an uncontested fast-break layup, Aris closed to within 45-56. Morris scored inside, but Massey matched him as Aris dug in. Batista assisted on another Morris slam, however Castle bettered him with a three to bring Aris within 10. Bluthenthal hit a three for his first points of the second half before a Castle free throw ended the third quarter with Maccabi leading 65-53.

Mottola fought inside for a basket to keep Aris in the picture, bur Bluthenthal matched him at the other end. Mottola added a dunk only to see Morris score for Maccabi this time. Tsaldaris’s basket was equaled by Cummings and when Fizer scored inside and then caused a turnover that led to a Halperin layup, Maccabi’s lead was up to 76-59 with four minutes left and the outcome was clear. The Maccabi fans stood on their feet in the closing minutes, cheering every basket as Maccabi cruised to its biggest win of the season.

Thursday, December 6, 2007
Frankie Sachs, Tel Aviv
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Referees: MARTIN, JOSE (ESP), JERSAN, ANDREJ (SLO), SUTULOVIC, ZORAN (MNE)
Attendance: 11000
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite23271520
Aris TT Bank14162317
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite23506585
Aris TT Bank14305370
Maccabi Elite
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BYNUM, WILL 16:00 6 1/2 1/2 1/2   1 1 3         2 3 8
5 FIZER, MARCUS 14:40 12 6/9   0/1 2 2 4 2   3 1   4 2 10
6 SHARP, DERRICK 8:57   0/1 0/1     1 1   1 3     4 2 -5
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 14:37 4 2/3   0/2 1 4 5 3         2 3 10
9 MORRIS, TERENCE 23:14 18 8/10 0/1 2/2 3 6 9 1 1 2 1   4 1 22
10 FANAN, REGEV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 CASSPI, OMRI 4:54 2 1/1   0/2           1       1  
12 GARCIA, ALEX 16:07 3 0/1 1/1     2 2 2         2   4
13 BLU, DAVID 30:28 20 7/7 2/4   4 4 8 1             27
14 CUMMINGS, VONTEEGO 22:45 7 2/5 1/3     1 1 2 2 2     4 1 2
15 BATISTA, ESTEBAN 15:16 4 2/3     1 2 3 5 1 3     2 2 9
21 HALPERIN, YOTAM 33:02 9 3/5 1/3         2 2 2   1 2   4
Team             1 1   6           7
Totals 200:00 85 32/47 6/15 3/9 11 24 35 21 13 16 2 1 26 15 98
        68.1% 40% 33.3%
Head coach: KATTASH, ODED
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Aris TT Bank
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 CASTLE, TERREL 34:29 10 0/2 1/4 7/10       3 1 4     2 6 6
5 TERRY, REYSHAWN 24:44 7 0/4 2/3 1/3   3 3 1 3 2     2 4 7
7 SERAPINAS, SIMONAS 9:56           1 1               1
8 WRIGHT, BRACEY 35:30 19 7/9 0/6 5/8 3 1 4 2   1       7 20
10 ILIADIS, SAVVAS 1:11                              
13 MOTTOLA, HANNO 19:34 9 4/6   1/2 1 1 2   2 2     3 4 9
14 MASSEY, JEREMIAH 24:29 13 5/10   3/3 4 2 6 1 1 2   1 4 3 12
15 AGADAKOS, LAZAROS 18:37 8 4/4     1 1 2 1 1 1 1   2 1 11
16 TSALDARIS, DIMITRIOS 23:47 4 2/4 0/4   1   1 1 1 2   1   1 -1
17 PANTELIADIS, SPYRIDON 7:43     0/1           1       2   -2
19 TSAIRELIS, MICHALIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 3 4   6         1 11
Totals 200:00 70 22/39 3/18 17/26 11 12 23 9 16 14 1 2 15 27 74
        56.4% 16.7% 65.4%
Head coach: HERBERT, GORDON

Head Coaches

KATTASH, ODED
Maccabi Elite
"The last week in the long run was very important for us. We came out stronger from the big [Israeli League] loss as a team. At halftime I told the players in the locker room that for the first time this season it felt fun, and it felt like the players were having fun as well. We showed consistency that we lacked in the previous games. Almost any player who took the court knew what they needed to do. We need to know how to take this win and use it for our best. We kept our home record perfect, and collected a very important road win in Milano. We still look at the first place in the group. Like I've always said, we want to play good and positive basketball, and the achievements will come with it. Bluthenthal is the barometer of the team. When he gets his shots it means everybody else on the team is doing their jobs. Every time he doesn't get his shots it means we didn't play well. When you finish the first half up by 20 it's a totally different game. It makes you play different, but what won this game for us is a consistent game on defense."
HERBERT, GORDON
Aris TT Bank
"Congratulations to Maccabi. Their energy and will was so much better than ours in the first half. We put ourselves in a huge hole, and we didn't come out of it. It’s very difficult to come to a place like this and be down by 20 points in the first half. Maccabi wanted it more. Their will and work ethic in the first 20 minutes was too much for us. They completely outworked us. We played a better second half, and we got close to be below 10, and if we could have got that, I believe we could have had a chance, but we didn't. They moved the ball very well and dominated the paint in the first half. They got 10 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes and it gave them a big advantage. We didn't come out with the effort and will to have a chance to win. We came out and watched Maccabi play."

Players

HALPERIN, YOTAM
Maccabi Elite
"We played a good game and we don't need to get too excited. It doesn't matter who we play, but how we're going to play. Next time we can win by 30. We play better and better and we can still improve. We stayed positive after the league loss."
MOTTOLA, HANNO
Aris TT Bank
"I can't explain why we played so bad in the first half, but this arena is one place where you must not be down by a big margin so early, or else you're going to pay for it. We played better in the second half, but it still wasn't enough to get the win. We will have to play better next time."
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