Colson leads Maccabi to win over Monaco, Fenerbahce awaits on Thursday

Jan 2, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv downed Monaco 93-83 as Bonzie Colson set the tone early and often as he finished the game off with 27 points to take the home away from home win in Belgrade. The yellow-and-blue rattled off a 14-4 run to end the first quarter and grab a 10-point, 22-12 lead thanks to strong play from Colson but when Mike James began to threaten the advantage, Rafi Menco drilled home a trio of triples in the third quarter to keep Oded Katash’s squad in front for good.

With the victory Maccabi moved to 11-7 to open the Euroleague Double Week with the back end coming up on Thursday with a road game against Fenerbahce in Lithuania instead of Turkey due to the security situation.

Colson led the way with 27 points while Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin scored 12 points each in the win. James dropped 27 points, Diallo added 20 points and Okobo scored 11 points in the loss.

“We really wanted this game and it’s never easy against Monaco as they have many weapons,” Maccabi head coach Oded Katash said. “Offensively and defensively we knew it was going to be and aggressive game and I really liked the effort. Most of the game we played the right way on both sides of the court. I liked the way we reacted in the second half when they started to hit tough shots as Mike James did his thing. This was a big one for us.”

“In a double week the second game is always different and perhaps we will need to split the effort with the players due to rest but we will see when we recover and then we have a big game on Thursday.”

Oded Katash and Sasa Obradovic – Photo Credit: Euroleague

“They deserved to win and from the beginning they wanted to play better and more than us,” Monaco head coach Sasa Obradovic said. “If you give the rhythm to such a quality team it’s not easy to find your own momentum. We had a better fight in the second half but we gave the confidence to their best players. If you don’t have the emotions it’s very hard. We missed our toughness and we weren’t aggressive. We allowed them to get 15 points from offensive rebounds without resistance so it’s hard for any team in that situation. This was 100% lack of focus and attitude.”

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Euroleague

The game MVP Bonzie Colson spoke about the victory as well as the his feelings about this season’s team, “I just wanted to play solid. I thought we played tremendously as a group on the defensive end and I think that is what won us the game. Offensively we moved the ball and we came ready to play from the jump. When we do that we are a special group. Special teams get these wins in a double week and we believe that we are one of the special teams so we will lock in and get the win on Thursday against Fenerbahce.”

Wade Baldwin – Credit: Dragan Tesic and Djordje Kostic

Wade Baldwin took the bull by the horns for Maccabi Tel Aviv with a pair of early layups while Roman Sorkin and Bonzie Colson scored inside but Alpha Diallo from the outside and inside knotted the game up at 8-8 midway through the first quarter. Lorenzo Brown and Josh Nebo found points, Sorkin put in a 3-point play, Tamir Blatt went from downtown and added a deuce, Kemba Walker got onto the board for Monaco but the yellow-and-blue grabbed a 22-12 lead after ten minutes of play.

Roman Sorkin – Credit: Dragan Tesic and Djordje Kostic

Blatt knocked down a jumper, Walker responded from deep while Colson matched him and added a deuce as Elie Okobo and Diallo scored for the visitors, but Maccabi stayed in front 31-21 with 5:46 left in the second quarter. Colson dialed up long distance, Okobo scored a 3-point play and John Brown added points inside, Sorkin and Jade Rivero continued to find points but so did an active Colson as he scored at will to finish the first half with 14 points and send Oded Katash’s team into the lockerroom ahead 49-35.

Lorenzo Brown – Credit: Dragan Tesic and Djordje Kostic

Baldwin went from deep to get the second half underway, but Mike James started to heat up while Diallo and Brown quickly dropped the Maccabi lead to single digits but Rafi Menco came on to drain a trio of triples to keep Oded Katash’s squad in front 64-54 after thirty minutes of action.

Maccabi Tel Aviv – Credit: Dragan Tesic and Djordje Kostic

James Webb got the fourth quarter underway with a 3-pointer, Monaco countered with free throws from James and Kobo to go along with a 3-point play from Donta Hall, as Colson, Brown, Baldwin and Nebo all found points to stay in front 78-69 with five minutes remaining in regulation time. James drilled home his 5th 3-pointer, Colson scored off a rebound, Baldwin hit a corner 3-ball and Colson came back with a dunk to finish off the game and notch the win.

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