Rowland and Smith lead Jerusalem past Neptunas
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem took control of the game early and went on to register its first win of the season, 74-59 decision over the visiting Neptunas Klaipeda. Jerusalem, which improved to 1-1 record in Group F, grabbed lead for good in the first quarter. The hosts opened an 11-point lead in the second, and used a 10-3 spurt in the third period to open 55-41 lead. Neptunas was not going away, but never got closer than 58-51 the rest of the way. E.J. Rowland paced the hosts with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and Donta Smith had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. D’or Fischer had 11 points, and Tony Gaffney contributed with 1 points, 6 boards and 4 steals in victory. Travis Bader netted 17 for Neptunas which dropped to 0-2. Martynas Mazeika had 11, and Mindaugas Girdziunas 10 point in the losing effort.
Neptunas opened the game with back-to-back threes from Mazeika and Girdziunas, but Jerusalem went in front through Smith and Fischer, before a pair of buckets from Rowland and a triple from Gaffney made it 17-13. Bader answered right back with a three-pointer for the visitors, but a three-point play from Smith to end first-quarter scoring, and a triple from Josh Duncan to start the second period made it 25-16. Second-chance points from Bar Timor and Duncan extended the lead into double figures, 31-20, but Mazieka scored twice, before Bader connected from downtown and Girdziunas beat the halftime buzzer with a three-pointer, cutting the gap to 36-30 at the break.
In the first 2 minutes of the third quarter, Fischer had a three-point play, then added two more baskets for 43-33. Bader answered with five points of his own, including a triple, but Smith and Rowland orchestrated a 10-3 run that opened 55-41 advantage for Jerusalem. After baskets from Timor on one side, and Girdziunas on the other, score was 57-44 at the end of third period. Simas Galdikas and Arnas Butkevicius brought the deficit back into single digits at the start of the fourth quarter, and a second-chance basket from Mazeika made it 58-51. But triples from Rowland and Gaffney pushed the margin to 12 points, and Gaffney’s block followed with his fastbreak basket helped make it 70-54 with 2:30 left, sealing the deal.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015