By Amy Samin
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Herzliya at Menorah Mivtachim Arena 102-74 in round 12 of the Israeli Winner Sal League. Devin Smith (8 rebounds), Sylven Landesberg, and Taylor Rochestie each scored 16 points, while Trevor Mbakwe (12 points, 7 rebounds), Guy Pnini (11 points, 5 assists), and Dragan Bender (10 points) also scored in double figures.
Starters were Devin Smith, Sylven Landesberg, Taylor Rochestie, Arinze Onuaku, and Dragan Bender. Maccabi started out well and reached 9-4 after three minutes, thanks to points by Bender, Rochestie, Smith, and a fast break slam by Landesberg. Hezliya didn't make their presence felt, while Smith and Landesberg combined for fourteen points to make it 23-10 with two and a half minutes left in the period. Trevor Mbakwe and Guy Pnini closed out the quarter with Maccabi leading 31-12.
After a ragged start to the second quarter for both teams, Maccabi advanced to 35-17 thanks to points by Pnini. The visitors showed signs of getting into the game, closing to 35-26, but a triple by Smith, a bucket and one by Mbakwe, points by Onuaku in the paint, and five more points from Smith made it 48-27 with just over a minute left in the period. Pnini added four straight points of his own to end the half with Maccabi up 53-30.
Despite points by Onuaku in the paint, Herzliya fought to get into the game, closing to 61-42 after three minutes. Bender and Rochestie woke Maccabi up, Landesberg scored from downtown, and Pnini added a turnaround fadeaway at the buzzer to make it 73-50. Points by Itay Segev wrapped up the third period with Maccabi holding a 76-54 lead.
The fourth quarter was strictly a formality, with Maccabi giving minutes to the younger players who protected Maccabi's advantage while collecting points and experience. Ike Ofoegbu returned from his injury and contributed points from the field and the foul line. In the end, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv overwhelmed Bnei Herzliya 102-74.