Wilbekin’s 37 points leads Maccabi Tel Aviv to 95-84 win over Monaco

Nov 17, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv downed Monaco 95-84 as star guard Scottie Wilbekin scored 37 points to lead the yellow-and-blue as they got back on the winning track in Euroleague action and improved their to 7-3 on the season. Wilbekin scored at will to get the game off and running but Monaco matched Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad almost point for point and took a slim 44-41 lead into halftime. James Nunnally began to get rolling in the second half while Mike James and Donta Hall countered for Monaco but Wilbekin kept scoring as the Maccabi ran away with the 11-point win.

Wilbekin led the way with 37 points and 8 assists, Nunnally added 16 points and Zizic recorded a double double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Hall scored 18 points, Dwayne Bacon added 16 points and Mike James chipped in with 14 points in the loss.

Ioannis Sfairopoulos – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We started the game well and we got the lead but in the second quarter they came back with many offensive rebounds and they were up at halftime,” Sfairpoulos said following the win. “We said we had to be tougher at halftime and we got the game back to the way we wanted. In the fourth we had an explosion from Wilbekin, Nunnally and Keenan and we found the best options to shoot.”

Zvezdan Mitrovic – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“Scottie Wilbekin had a tremendous performance,” Monaco coach Zvezdan Mitrovic began. “Maccabi punished us with 3-pointers in the last quarter. We were in the game for 35-36 minutes but then we disappeared. Our point guard Leo Westermann was injured early and it was a key moment for us in the game. He is one of the most important players on the team.”

Oded Katash and Doron Sheffer – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Prior to the game former Maccabi star guards Oded Katash and Doron Sheffer were inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame as they jerseys were raised to the rafters of Yad Eliyahu. The dynamic due were serenaded by the over 11,000 fans singing at the top of the lungs to honor the pair.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Katash played for the yellow-and-blue between 1995-1999 where he danced on the floor and orchestrated the offense to perfection as he recalled what it was like to play in continental competition, “Thursday night European games at Yad Eliyahu is something that flowed through my veins and it was so incredible to experience. Just as an observant person feels so excited on a Friday night as Shabbat comes in, that’s how I felt about Thursday’s with Maccabi. I always woke up that much happier on Thursday mornings as I knew what awaited me.”

Doron Sheffer – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Sheffer, who was known as the “Ice Man” also reminisced about what it was like to put on a performance at Yad Eliyahu for his five seasons in yellow-and-blue in front of the thousands of fans, “It was amazing to see the supporters in all shapes and sizes both men and women, adults and youngsters, Ashkenazim and Sepharadim, observant and secular, right wingers, left wingers, rich and poor. Despite all of the different opinions, faces and dress, everyone sang Maccabi…Maccabi…Maccabi… together as one. This unity gave me strength time and time again. It was spectacular.”

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Scottie Wilbekin and Derrick Williams got the game underway with a pair of quick 3-pointers but Donatas Motiejunas came right back with buckets as well, but Wilbekin drilled home yet another triple to give Maccabi Tel Aviv a 11-9 lead midway through the first quarter. Leo Westermann found points from long distance, Williams and Ante Zizic countered while Wilbekin put in a one handed floater and Reynolds also scored as the hosts took a 26-19 lead after ten minutes of play.

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Donta Hall and Alpha Diallo got busy for Monaco to begin the second quarter, Wilbekin scored and James Nunnally added a 3-pointer to keep Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad in front 31-25 with six minutes remaining in the first half. Hall scored in the paint, Keenan Evans scored a layup while Wilbekin once again put in a floater but Dwayne Bacon, Diallo and Hall continued to do damage for Zvezdan Mitrovic’s team as Bacon hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to snatch a 44-41 advantage.

Derrick Williams – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Williams hit a midrange jumper to begin the third quarter, Wilbekin went from downtown but Bacon matched him for Monaco and Paris Lee scored his first points of the night but a yet another Wilbekin triple for a game total of 23 points put Maccabi back in front 53-49 midway through the frame. Bacon scored a 3-pointer and a layup, Nunnally answered right back with points in the paint, Mike James powered into the lane for a pair of buckets and Hall put down a mega dunk to close to within 62-61 after thirty minutes of action.

Mike James – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Hall began the fourth quarter just like he finished off the third frame with points, Danilo Andjusic added a basket and then went from deep, but Reynolds jammed the ball while Nunnally and Evans added 3-ball to give Maccabi a bit of breathing room 73-69 lead with 6:23 left in regulation time. Thomas scored in the paint after grabbing an offensive board, Nunnally came right back from downtown as James and Wilbekin traded baskets as Maccabi maintained an 80-76 lead.

Ante Zizic – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Zizic slammed home a dunk off a Wilbekin miss, but the guard made up for that with a 3-pointer at the end of a shot clock and points inside but James came right back with a couple of tough buckets, however, Wilbekin continued his scoring festival to help Maccabi close out the 95-84 win.

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