Marcus Slaughter hit the first of two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining to give Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem a tough 84-83 win over KK Zadar on Tuesday in Group I. Jerusalem kept its home record intact and climbed to first place in the group with a 3-1 record. Jerusalem seemed in control early, but Zadar came back to lead by as many as 6 in the fourth quarter. Corey Brewer, who was the main reason Zadar got back in the game, missed two free throws at the other end with the score tied and 13.2 seconds to go, setting the stage for Slaughter to win it. Jaime Arnold rested less than a minute and finished the game with 26 points and 12 rebounds. He and Sharon Shason combined for the last 15 points of Hapoel in the last five minutes before Slaughter's winning point. Dror Hagag was hot with 19 points making 8 of his 10 shots, while Sharon had 13 points and Timmy Bowers 10. Todor Gecevski led Zadar with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Brewer finished with 19 points and 6 assists. 10 of his points and 3 of his assists came in the last quarter, showing he was in charge of at least 16 points of Zadar's 22 last quarter points. Shamell Stallworth added 13 and Julius Johnson 11.
Zadar opened the game with two hits from downtown, which painted a clear picture of what the first half would look like. Hagag scored the first 4 points for Hapoel in an 11-0 run, but Gecevski nailed another long jumper and followed with Zadar's first 2-point shot after seven minutes of play. Zadar continued to fire from outside as Rok Stipcevic hit twice from long range and Brewer joined the list to get the visitors within 34-33. Ramel Curry came off the bench for Hapoel and showed he can hit from the same distance to keep Hapoel on top. His second three broke a two-minute drought on both ends as Hapoel took a 42-33 lead. Stallworth hit Zadar's ninth and last three pointer of the half, but Arnold stepped up twice in a row. He stole the ball and drove to finish quick at the other end to give Hapoel a double-digit lead, the Zadar closed to within 50-43 at the break. Stipcevic suffered an ankle injury after a bad landing early in the third and didn't come back to play. Hagag fixed a layup to make it 58-48, but then picked up two quick fouls and took a seat. Without its fuel Hapoel was looking for another source of energy, and Zadar used that to get back in the game. Gecevski and Johnson led Zadar back to the game, and even a timeout by Hapoel didn't stop them. Stallworth hit a corner three to cap a 0-11 run, which gave Zadar the lead back for the first time since the first quarter. Shason's buzzer-beating three pointer made it 63-61 Hapoel with one quarter to play. Gecevski with a big three and 2 blocks on defense silenced the local fans, but Hagag came back to hit a three and tie the score at 68-68 with seven minutes on the clock. Brewer, in a very active second half, played with four fouls, but stayed hot and hit a three to keep the visitors going. Shason and Arnold were carrying Hapoel on their backs to keep the game alive, despite big plays by Gecevski and Brewer. Zadar entered the last minute up 80-81 with the ball in its hands and Brewer's shot hit the rim, went up high only to sink back in. Arnold replied with big three pointer that tied the game with 30.6 seconds on the clock. Brewer slashed and was sent to the line with 13.2 to play, but his missed shots allowed Hapoel to add another win to its collection.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007