Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem took a big step towards clinching a spot in the elimination rounds with a 112-97 win over Eiffeltowers Den Bosch on Tuesday night in the Israeli capital in front of a packed arena. Hapoel climbed to a 4-3 record and maintained its perfect home record this season, while the visitors dropped to 2-5. The hosts arrived to the game with the rope getting tighter around the neck of their ULEB Cup season and without any big men other than Erez Markovich after cutting Marcus Slaughter earlier the week and missing the injured Jaime Arnold. Hapoel stormed the court and used an 18-2 run late in the second quarter to take a 20-point half time lead, which sealed the game earlier than expected. Four Hapoel players scored above 20 led by Shason Shason with 23 points, 5 assists and 5 steals, Anthony Roberson with 21 points – including 5 of 6 three-pointers, Timmy Bowers had 21 points and 7 assists, Ramel Curry scored 20 and Guy Pnini had 17 points. Darrell Tucker led the losing side with 23 points, Greg Stevenson scored 17, Kees Akerboom added 12, Jayson Wells and Marcel Aarts 11 points each and Jos Frederiks had 10 points,
The first quarter was very close, and the lead changed hands no less than nine times. Hapoel showed great team work as four players shared the first 10 points of the reds, but Den Bosch didn't get confused. Five points in a row by Akerboom gave them a 21-24 lead entering the last minute, but then Roberson showed a hot hand off the bench with back-to-back triples to set the first quarter score on 27-26. Shason continued the long distance party with the first bucket of the second quarter and after Markovich added 4 points and Roberson another three-pointer, the visitors were down 39-31 and took a timeout. Tucker and Akerboom made it just a 5-point game before Hapoel took off to another planet. Shason scored 5 points in a row, to make it a double-digit game for the first time and then Bowers added 8 points of his own to lead Hapoel on an 18-2 run almost all the way to the buzzer. Den Bosch's Dean Oliver added a point from the line to set the difference on 61-41 after one half. Half way through the third quarter, Hapoel still maintained a 20-point lead, but a technical foul on Hapoel head coach Dan Shamir allowed the visitors to put some life in this game. Tucker nailed a big three with 1:44 minutes on the clock to make it 79-67, but Curry kept Hapoel far ahead and his corner three before a buzzer-beating acrobatic basket by Bowers made it 88-72 with 10 minutes on the clock. Shason once again opened the quarter with a long range ace, and Hapoel stood 19 points higher again. From that point on there was no stopping on Hapoel, which cruised to a big win.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007