Unstoppable Maccabi downs CSKA 90-80 – Hunter & Wilbekin Star in Victory

Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated CSKA Moscow 90-80 and pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Euroleague season to date. The Yellow & Blue played shorthanded finding out just under two hours before tip off that they would be without center Tarik Black to go along with the injured Omri Casspi, Nate Wolters and John DiBartolomeo. However, Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad kept the Russians on their toes throughout the first three quarters and pulled away in the final frame thanks to Othello Hunter who was playing against his former team as Maccabi moved their record to 9-4 on the season.

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Othello Hunter and Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi with 20 points each, Elijah Bryant added 14 points while Yovel Zoosman and Quincy Acy both notched 11 points for Maccabi. Mike James led CSKA with 22 points while Kyle Hines added 14 points in the loss.

Dov Halickman Photography

Both squads came out strong with Quincy Acy leading the way early for Maccabi and Kyle Hines for CSKA as the Russians held a 12-11 lead midway through the first quarter. Acy drilled another triple right after the television timeout to put Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s side ahead but Janis Strelneiks and Ron Baker hit 3-pointers while Mike James ensured that Tyler Dorsey fouled him beyond the arc good for 3 free throws as the Russian’s took a 29-20 advantage after ten minutes.

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Joel Bolomboy went off for six points in the second quarter while Scottie Wilbekin countered for Maccabi with 5 points as CSKA stayed in front 41-30 with 6:17 left in the half. Mike James hit back to back buckets but Elijah Bryant scored a 3-pointer and layup while Wilbekin drained another shot from deep to cut the lead to 46-42. However, Hines scored four more points to put Dimitrios Itoudis’s team up 52-45 at halftime.

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Daniel Hackett scored a 3-pointer, Hines hit a jumper in the key while Strelnieks also went from deep but Yovel Zoosman, Othello Hunter and Bryant cut the lead down to just 2-points, 60-58 with 3:57 left in the 3rd quarter. Wilbekin hit a jumper in the lane, Zoosman scored a reverse layup and Dorsey put a pair in as well to give Maccabi a 66-64 advantage after thirty minutes.

Dov Halickman Photography

Wilbekin and Acy started the fourth quarter with a bang as they both sent shots home from deep but James came back with points of his own before Bryant scored his 3rd triple of the game to give the Yellow & Blue a 77-71 lead midway through the frame. The duo of James and Hines ratcheted up again for CSKA to pull even at 80-80 but baskets but Hunter and free throws from Zoosman topped off by a Wilbekin bucket gave Maccabi the 90-80 win.

Dov Halickman Photography

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