By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv kept the hopes of the team and its fans alive with an impressive 77-55 win over Besiktas JK Istanbul in Turkey that improved their record in the Euroleague Top 16 to 2-4. Lior Eliyahu led Maccabi's scorers with 14 points, and Nik Caner-Medley had a great game with 12 points (including 3 of 3 from outside the arc).
Starters for Maccabi were Devin Smith, Ricky Hickman, Yogev Ohayon, Shawn James and Nik Caner-Medley. The first minutes of the quarter belonged to Caner-Medley, who scored a bucket and one, then followed it with a triple from the right wing and a huge block on defense. Maccabi's defense kept the Turkish team in check, while Ohayon and James added points in the paint to give Maccabi a 10-6 lead halfway through the period. Maccabi continued to play well in the second half of the quarter with a steal/dunk by team captain Lior Eliyahu and points by Smith from downtown. With two minutes remaining Maccabi led 15-10. Eliyahu added two more buckets and David Logan executed a slick spin and in at the buzzer to end the period with Maccabi up 21-12.
Shortly after the second quarter got underway Maccabi's lead grew to double digits, with points by James and Logan and a putback by Sylven Landesberg. James, Landesberg and Eliyahu added points that extended Maccabi's lead to twenty, 32-12 after three and a half minutes in the period. Maccabi kept Besiktas under wraps for most of the period; the Turkish team didn't score a basket until just under three minutes remained in the quarter. James earned an assist and a bucket, and Landesberg added a dunk off a bounce pass in traffic from Hickman to end the period with the score 43-22.
Things looked different in the early minutes of the third quarter, as Besiktas scored seven quick points and held Maccabi to two buckets (three pointers by Ohayon and Caner-Medley); at the five minute mark the score stood at 49-30. Two key catch and shoot treys by Logan wrapped up the period with Maccabi leading 57-35.
The start of the fourth quarter saw a reduction in intensity, with points from Darko Planinic and Eliyahu maintaining Maccabi's comfortable lead, 65-42 near the halfway mark. Three pointers by Hickman and Caner-Medley and points in the paint by Landesberg put the finishing touches on Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv's 77-55 victory over Besiktas JK Istanbul and improved their Top 16 record to 2-4.
Maccabi: Eliyahu 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks; Caner-Medly 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks; Logan 10 points, 4 rebounds; Hickman 9 points; Landesberg 8 points; James 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists; Ohayon 7points, 6 assists; Smith 6 points; Planinic 4 points.