By Amy Samin
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv won their second game of the Pro Stars tournament in France, defeating Nanterre 73-71. Brian Randle grabbed a steal and scored to give Maccabi the win. Veteran Devin Smith led all scorers with 24 points, Taylor Rochestie added 12 points, Trevor Mbakwe had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards, and Dragan Bender scored 9 points. Maccabi will face Villeurbanne in the Final on Saturday night.
Head coach Guy Goodes started the game with Devin Smith, Brian Randle, Jordan Farmar, Taylor Rochestie, and Vitor Faverani. Just like in the last game, it was the French team that grabbed an early lead, 7-2. Smith and Faverani got Maccabi into the game, and four straight by Farmar tied the score at 11 halfway through the first quarter. Dragan Bender and Guy Pnini came into the game and scored from downtown, giving Maccabi their first lead of the game. The French soon recovered and the period ended with Nanterre leading 20-17.
The French continued to control the tempo as the second quarter got underway, running to 34-19 in the first four minutes. Bender continued to impress, and Rochestie got a hot hand with a pair of treys that woke Maccabi up and put Maccabi close, 38-32. Nanterre responded quickly, and the half ended with the French team holding a 42-34 lead.
Rochestie reached double figures while putting Maccabi within 5 at the start of the second half. But the French continued to keep their lead comfortable, 47-37 after a minute and a half. Smith drained a pair of triples and scored from the field to cut off French hopes for a run, and tying the score at 49 midway through the quarter. Nanterre called a time out and came back with four straight points and, despite a three pointer from Bender, the period ended with the French up 61-57.
A bucket and one for Smith put him at 20 at the start of the fourth quarter. The veteran also sent an amazing dish to Mbakwe and scored from the foul line to put Maccabi up 64-63 halfway through the period. Nanterre stayed close, tying the score at 68 after more points by Smith. The French were focused on their last possession and reclaimed the lead, but Rochestie tied the score at 71 from the charity stripe with 6.7 seconds on the clock. A huge steal + fast break by Randle at the buzzer gave Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv a 73-71 victory over Nanterre.
Smith: 24 points; Rochestie 12 points; Mbakwe 10 points, 10 rebounds; Bender 9 points; Farmar 6 points, 11 rebounds; Pnini 5 points; Ohayon 3 points; Randle 2 points; Faverani 2 points, 5 rebounds.