Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem continued its great start in Group J of the Last 16 with a 100-87 home victory over Galatasaray Cafe Crown on Tuesday night in Goldberg Arena in the Israeli capital. Hapoel took advantage of an out-of-focus visiting side to open a double-digit lead in the second quarter and maintained the gap until the final buzzer. Galatasary lost its focus with 22 turnovers, 10 of them in the second quarter. Time after time the visitors cut the margin, but saw a calm Hapoel maintain the gap and make the last push to take a key 13-point win. Yogev Ohayon came off the bench at the end of the first quarter and dominated with 18 points, 8 assists, 6 steals and 5 rebounds in a great all-around performance. Yuval Naimy added 14 points, Leo Lyons had 13 points and 8 rebounds, Dijon Thompson scored 13 and Tre Simmons contributed 12. Galatasaray got 29 points and 5 assists from Darius Washington, Radoslav Rancik added 20 with 7 boards, Mike Wilkinson scored 14 and Simas Jasaitis 12. Hapoel dished 24 assists in the game, and scored in 60% inside the arc in addition to 11 three-pointers. On top of the turnovers Galatasaray, suffered a bad shooting night with only 6 three pointers at 26% and showed softness on defense with only 12 fouls.
Hapoel pushed the ball down to Brandon Hunter who scored the first 4 points for the hosts, while the visitors relied on Rancik to produce points inside the arc and set a 6-6 tie. Washington was on fire and scored 9 points in a row to make it 12-16 for his team, but Thompson didn't allow Galatasaray to open a big gap, and a three-point shot by Simmons put Hapoel back on top 17-16. The guests connected twice from downtown before the first-quarter buzzer to make it 21-24 in their favor after 10 minutes of basketball. Ohayon came off the bench in the closing seconds of the first quarter and showed his dominance in the second. Thompson with a dunk and Lyons with his first bucket bestowed the lead to Hapoel once more, to set the stage for the Ohayon show. An offensive rebound of big heart and a high jump followed with a steal and a big dunk as Hapoel took a 37-30 lead. Rancik scored in the paint, but Hapoel was on fire. Ohayon with yet another steal helped Pooh Jeter score from behind the arc, and in the next play it the Israeli guard stopped a three-on-one fast break with a steal and pushed the ball to Lyons who finished with a massive dunk to set a double-digit score 42-32 after 16 minutes. Wilkinson scored his first field goal of the night, but didn't find his rhythm on the perimeter as Ohayon added another layup. Galatasary's game was anything but focused with no less than 10 turnovers in the second quarter, as Hapoel's lead reached already 51-39 on the edge of the first half. Washington attacked the rim to score the last basket before the break and set the margin at 51-41.
Hapoel found aggressive defense inside the paint by Rancik and Wilkinson so Thompson scored a three-pointer to calm things down. Simmons with a key steal allowed Lyons to finish the fast break with a dunk as the lead climbed back to double-digits, 58-47 after two-and-a-half minutes of the second half. Ohayon continued to be a force on both ends with steals, assists and points to maintain the difference, but Washington and Rancik carried Galatasaray on their back to lead a 2-8 run which forced a timeout by Hapoel up by only 65-57. Hapoel looked for a pay back and found that in Sharon Shason, who scored two quick catch-and-shoot threes to push the gap back to 12. Caner Topaloglu stepped up with a big jumper followed by a block to carry his team on 6 unanswered points and cut the margin by half, but Lyons fixed his own miss with a tip-in at the buzzer to give Hapoel some breathing room before the last quarter started, still up 73-65. Washington and Rancik didn't return to the court from the break, but after a minute with no points they were sent back to make a change. Hapoel though was in its own zone, and a three from the corner by Naimy pushed the gap to 78-65. Naimy's shot started a three-point contest as Ohayon added another from the opposite corner while Washington and Murat Kaya answered the top of the key. Naimy drove to the rim to draw Washington's fourth personal foul and maintain the double-digit lead, 86-75 with six minutes on the game clock. Whatever the visitors tried to pull, Hapoel found an answer, and now it was time for Uri Kokia to step up. Hapoel's big guy came off the bench to add big plays on both ends of the floor and another steal by Ohayon sent Naimy for an easy layup, and a 97-83 lead. Ohayon earned the honor to beat the shot clock with a three-pointer for Hapoel's last basket and 100th point to cap big night with a worthy win.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010