Hapoel Jerusalem went on a 14-0 run over the last 3:46 to defeat Nahariya 75-67 as Curtis Jerrells starred for the Reds scoring 30 points for the undermanned hosts. Jerusalem struggled over the first half committing 13 turnovers leading to 13 points while allowing Nahariya to pull down 10 offensive rebounds good for 12 points. However, Hapoel pulled the rabbit out of the hat and outscored their opponents 17-3 over the final five minutes of the game.
Jerusalem will welcome Kuban to the Arena on Wednesday night in EuroCup action as Hapoel will look to improve their perfect record to 3-0. They’ll also say hello to former guard Matt Janning and ex-Maccabi player Taylor Rochestie.
Playing without Amare Stoudemire who was back in the United States Jerusalem went out to a 19-18 lead after the first quarter. The Reds received balanced scoring as 3 players dropped four points a piece while Nick Faust (22pts) helped the visitors early on scoring 7pts.
The home team added a point to their lead at halftime going into the lockerrooms up 36-34 with Curtis Jerrells pacing the Reds finishing the first half with 14 points, 5 rebounds and four assists while also drawing five fouls. Jerusalem also received inspired play by Isaac Rosefelt helping out the short rotation while Nick Faust increased his game total to 12pts and former Reds property Yancy Gates scored 8 points and grabbed 7 boards.
The third quarter saw the visitors outscore Jerusalem 20-14 to take the lead as Tomer Bar Even hit a buzzer beater 3-pointer to end the frame. Tarence Kinsey scored 10 of his 14 points in the quarter to keep Hapoel in the game.
Nahariya started the final ten minutes on fire, taking a 62-55 lead thanks to a 7-0 run, but a missed Faust dunk gave the resurgent Jerusalem life. Blocks by Travis Peterson and Lior Eliyahu plus a Jerrells clutch 3-pointer sent the crowd into a frenzy leading Jerusalem to the 14-0 late game run and the win leaving Nahariya coach April Alfasi shaking his head trying to understand how his team yet again blew a late game lead.
Nahariya coach Arik Alfasi wouldn’t blame the team’s collapse on lack of mental toughness or exhaustion from their busy schedule which includes participation in the FIBA Champions League though he points out that the team arrived home only on Friday morning…Jerusalem coach Simone Pianigiani thanked the fans for their support helping lift the team to the late surge and win. He also said he was thrilled for Isaac Rosefelt for his fine play in Amare’s absence…Curtis Jerrells talked about how everyone dug deep for the win and was super excited about finding a way to pull out the victory. He also said how he had to take more responsibility due to the loss of Jerome Dyson to injury.