By Amy Samin
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv defeated Kiryat Gat on the road, 88-63, in week 12 of the Israeli Winner Sal Leagu. Dragan Bender led Maccabi's scorers with 15 points, Jordan Farmar added 14 points and 6 assists, Devin Smith contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds, Sylven Landesberg (7 rebounds) and Taylor Rochestie (7 assists) scored 11 points each. Trevor Mbakwe (10 rebounds) and Brian Randle (6 blocks) were outstanding on defense.
Devin Smith, Brian Randle, Sylven Landesberg, Taylor Rochestie, and Arinze Onuaku were the starters for Maccabi. The yellows opened well and ran to 7-1 in the first three minutes, but the hosts woke up and made it a one point game until Dragan Bender, Jordan Farmar, and Landesberg combined to finish the period with Maccabi up 22-14,
Rochestie from the charity stripe and Guy Pnini on a fast break extended Maccabi's lead to 26-14 after two and a half minutes. Farmar continued to score and Onuaku in the paint put the yellows up 32-20 close to the halfway mark. Kiryat Gat responded and all but eliminated their deficit, 35-33 with two minutes left in the half, but a perfect pass by Pnini to Landesberg for the layup and a putback slam by Trevor Mbakwe ended the half with Maccabi on top 39-35.
Maccabi made up for the lack of points from downtown with tough defense, including steals that led to easy points on the fast break, like the layup scored by Smith that put the lead in double digits halfway through the third quarter, 49-38. Kiryat Gat wasn't able to stop the visitors, and a dunk by Bender ended the period with the score 60-46.
A bucket and one by Landesberg, Rochestie from mid-range, and a dunk by Randle (assist Landesberg) extended Maccabi's lead to 67-46 after a minute and a half of action in the fourth quarter. Itay Segev, who also played excellent defense, added seven points and Bender went on a shooting spree that closed out the game, 88-63 to Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv over Kiryat Gat.