A Eurocup rookie playing on the court of a former champion, Cajasol Sevilla pulled off a huge 70-84 upset against Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem on Tuesday to seize second place in Group G and a place in the Last 16. With a spirited home crowd against them at Goldberg Arena in the Israeli capital, the visitors from Seville took control early and refused to let Jerusalem up for air the rest of the way. Since in the other Group G game, CEZ Nymburk was in the process of defeating Riga, Cajasol had to win by more than the 4 points by which Jerusalem had taken their first game in Seville. But the visitors were in full control from tip-off to buzzer and left little doubt about eliminating Jerusalem from the Eurocup this early for the first time in six seasons. Cajasol finished the first half with just a six-point lead after leading by more than double than that, then 15 unanswered points behind 3 long-distance hits made the difference early in the final quarter, deciding the game. Tariq Kirksay stepped up big-time for Cajasol with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Txemi Urtasun and Louis Bullock added 17 points each while Paul Davis collected 12. For Jerusalem, Jason Rich came through with 17 points, while Will Solomon added 12, Sam Clancy finished with 11 points and 9 boards, and Brian Randle scored 10.
Cajasol scored the first 6 points, all at the rim, while Hapoel kept looking for offense until a pull-up jumper by Rich broke the drought after almost 4 minutes. Mindaugas Katelynas scored twice in a row with post-up moves and when Bullock hit a catch-and-shoot triple, the visitors had a 4-13 lead. Bullock continued with another 3 points to establish the game's first double-digit difference, putting early pressure on Jerusalem's side. Solomon stepped up for the hosts then, but Bullock climbed to 10 points. As Jerusalem's shots were still banging off the rim, Cajasol was delighted with an 8-22 lead. Tomas Satoransky with a beautiful right-side drive set the difference at 16 points before Solomon scored Jerusalem's first three-pointer on the first-quarter buzzer, but Cajasol was still in command, 11-24. Kirksay opened the second quarter with a long-range bomb but Dion Dowell copied him at the other end to wake the local fans. An off-the-dribble three-pointer by Yuval Naimy closed the gap to 19-31 and signaled that Jerusalem wasn't giving up. With momentum on its side, however, Jerusalem saw Randle commit his third foul in 13 minutes, which Cajasol translated into another three-pointer, this time by Urtasun, forcing a Jerusalem timeout at 21-34. Cajasol's magical day on offense continues with another off-balance hit by Urtasun, who added a tough layup to beat the shot clock and dished a great assist for a transition triple by Bullock that made it 25-41. Jerusalem seemed lost until Naimy's huge triple and a drive by Rich cut the margin to 10 points again, 31-41. In the half's last 2 minutes, Rich extended Jerusalem's run with a steal and slam followed, after a Cajasol timeout, by a great drive that cut the margin to 6 pionts, as the teams marched to the break with the score set on 37-43.
Jerusalem's momentum was stopped with the half-time buzzer, as Cajasol came out and re-started its lead an alley-hoop between Satoransky and Davis. Kirksay dunked on a fastbreak that Solomon answered from long range. Although Davis went to the bench with his fourth foul, Kaloyan Ivanov covered for him with a great save and a three-point play that kept Cajasol ahead 49-54 after 26 minutes. Although Dowell and Randle got their fourth fouls early, the latter stayed on-court, and saw Solomon hit yet another three-pointer to make it 54-58 after 28 minutes. Juan Jose Triguero then hit a big layup that helped Cajasol close the third quarter with an eight-point lead, 54-62. When it was time for Jerusalem to make noise, Cajasol was quick to make things clear. Kirksay scored a corner three, Urtasun added another and followed with yet another long-range bomb, this time on one foot from 9 meters to beat the shot block, to quickly stake a 17-point lead early in the final quarter. Triguero's power dunk pushed the gap higher and capped a 0-15 run by Cajasol that forced a Jerusalem timeout with7 minutes left to fight back. Randle with a three-point play and Yogev Okhayon created a quick run. A pair of triples from the corner by Mizrahi got the hosts as close as 63-77, but it was far from enough. Cajasol dominated the offensive boards and didn't allow Jerusalem to endanger its lead any further. An air ball shot by Solomon marked the end of Jerusalem's journey in the Eurocup and Cajasol celebrated the big win and the ticket to the next round.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010