Maccabi grabs third straight home win, keeps Fenerbahce reeling
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv withstood a valiant comeback attempt by Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to produce a 67-55 victory for its third straight triumph at Menorah Mivtachim Arena. Maccabi’s 23-point third-quarter lead was slashed to 5 points before the home side pulled away to improve to 3-2. Omri Casspi led the way with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for Maccabi while Nate Wolters and Othello Hunter both scored 11 points and Tarik Black collected 10 points and 15 rebounds - 7 of those from the offensive glass. Fenerbahce saw its three-game winning streak against Maccabi snapped and its record dropped to 1-4. Nando De Colo was Fenerbahce’s top scorer with 13 points while Derrick Williams had 11 points and 6 rebounds and Ali Muhammed picked up 11 points and 4 assists.
Wolters got the hosts on the board first with free throws and Scottie Wilbekin added a three-pointer in building a 6-0 lead. Fenerbahce did not score in the first 4 minutes until Jan Vesely hit on the baseline. The visitors struggled to solve the Maccabi defense with Williams adding the team’s second basket with just more than 4 minutes left. Maccabi failed to take advantage, leading just 12-4 after 9 minutes. Muhammed’s free throws had Fenerbahce within 12-6 after 10 minutes. Maccabi started scoring a bit more regularly in the second quarter with Tyler Dorsey and Wilbekin hitting threes and Hunter made it 22-10. De Colo snapped Fenerbahce’s 3-minute stretch without a basket to get to 23-12, but Casspi nailed a triple, threw down a dunk and tossed up an alley-oop for Hunter for a 30-12 advantage. Luigi Datome tried to stop the bleeding with a three-pointer, but the onslaught continued and the margin was 35-15. Vesely managed to score for Fenerbahce, but to make things worse he was forced out with a fourth foul. Maccabi was on target at the free-throw line and led 41-21 at the break. John DiBartolomeo nailed a three-pointer early in the third quarter to push the advantage to 46-23. Joffrey Lauvergne scored inside and then Fenerbahce used the long ball to creep back into the game. Muhammed hit one from long range and was followed by a pair of threes from Williams and one from Datome in a 2-17 surge to make it a single-digit game at 49-41. The hosts managed to get to 52-41 after 30 minutes. Another Muhammed three started the fourth quarter to once again make it an 8-point game. Yovel Zoosman countered with a big three at the other end for a 57-46 advantage. Muhammed and De Colo each knocked down threes and it was 59-54 with less than 4 minutes to play. Black came up with a huge three-point play for a 62-54 lead after which Datome pulled one point back with a free throw but Maccabi grabbed 4 offensive rebounds on one possession to eat away some precious time with Wolters hitting a free throw and a Zoosman layup re-establishing the double-digit lead to decide the game.
Second-worst first half in regular season for Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce scored just 6 points in the first quarter and its 21 points in the first 20 minutes tied for the second-worst first half in regular-season action in club history. The club three times hit just 21 points - most recently in 2016-17 against Olympiacos Piraeus. Fenerbahce scored just 20 points against Cibona VIP in the 2003-04 regular season. The club’s all-time worst mark was 19 points against FC Barcelona Lassa in the Top 16 in 2012-13.
Best and worst starts
Maccabi has now won three straight home games and the 3-2 mark is its best start since the 2014-15 season. Fenerbahce’s 1-4 record is the club’s worst start since 2006.
Just 11 points from Fenerbahce starters
The Fenerbahce starting lineup combined for just 11 points - all of them from Derrick Wiliams. Kostas Sloukas was held scoreless for the first time since Round 21 of the 2017-18 season against Olympiacos Piraeus.
Maccabi won the rebound battle 43-31 - including grabbing 15 offensive rebounds. The hosts held Fenerbahce to just 26.5 percent on two-point shots.
Both teams play next on Friday. Maccabi will hope to extend its winning streak to four games and pick up a first victory on the road when it faces Olympiacos Piraeus. Fenerbahce heads home looking to right the ship as it hosts Zalgiris Kaunas.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019