Both matchups between Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv and Hapoel Eilat were similar. The southern squad was in the game for the first two quarters, but then the Israeli Champions ran away in the second half for the win, this time 97:76 in the Begin Arena, on its way to the State Cup Quarter Finals. The Yellow & Blue come back home on Tuesday to host Hapoel Be'er Sheva, on Thursday, the team heads out to face Kirolbet Baskonia, and on Saturday they visit Maccabi Ashdod.
Scored for Maccabi: Hunter 17 points (7-11 FG, 6 Rebounds, 5 Assists), Wolters 16 (7-10 FG), Cohen 15 (6-8 FG), Dorsey 13, Wilbekin (6 Assists) & Avdija (4-5 FG, 7 Assists) 12 points each, Black 9 (4-4 FG), Zoosman 3. Played but didn't score: DiBartolomeo and Atias. Eilat top scorers: Rafi Menco (4-5 2P, 3-4 3P) & Jonathan Skjoldebrand (5-8 3P, 1-5 2P) 17 points each, Davenport 16 (7-11 FG, 8 Rebounds), Terrell 11 (2-9 2P, 0-5 3p, 7-7 FT, 6 Assists, 4 Steals).
Maccabi's starting five featured Nate Wolters, Scottie Wilbekin, Yovel Zoosman, Jake Cohen, and Tarik Black. The visitors from Tel Aviv scored the first 7 points of the contest, but on the other end, the hosts answered with 7 straight points to tie the game at 7:7. Wolters led the Yellow & Blue to an 8:0 run as Skjoldebrand and Gordon scored from outside the arc to reduce the advantage. Avdija ended the quarter with a bucket to give the visitors a 23:17 lead after one quarter.
Hunter dominated inside the paint on both sides of the floor, increasing Maccabi's lead, 29:21. Gordon, with a layup and a Skjoldebrand three-pointer, made coach Sfairopoulos call a timeout midway through the second quarter. The visitors responded well, Hunter scored 5 straight points to give the Yellow & Blue an 8 point advantage, 34:26. A slam by Thompson and Terrell hit two free throws to cut Maccabi's lead by half. However, the visitors scored in incredible percentages from 2P (14-17 in the first half), as Dorsey gave the Yellow & Blue a 40:35 lead going into halftime.
Wolters opened the second half scoring Maccabi's first 4 points. Thompson with two straight blocks and a three-pointer by Davenport reduced the visitors lead 46:45. Cohen, with a crucial three, cooled off the southern city, as the Yellow & Blue ramped up on the defensive end with Dorsey leading a 9:1 run that gave them a double-digit advantage, 58:48. Skjoldebrand shot in another three-pointer, as Wilbekin found Avdija open from outside the arc to end the third quarter with a 63:52 Maccabi lead.
Dorsey, with a three, and dunks by Hunter and Cohen in fastbreaks, expanded the lead 70:54. Menco tried to stop the run with a three of his own, but Wilbekin and Avdija answered on the other end from downtown to increase the visitors lead 79:59. Midway through the fourth, Hunter with a highlight slam and Black with a bucket & foul preserved the 20 point advantage. Black and Cohen continued Maccabi's run, Skjoldebrand hit his fourth three-pointer of the game as Wolters added one of his own to give the Yellow & Blue a 92:71 lead. In the final minutes, the youngster Yonatan Atias, got to see a couple of minutes on the court as Maccabi advance to the State Cup Quarter Final with a 97:76 win.