Happy Hapoel After Triumph Over Roanne


Hapoel Jerusalem hung on for an 88-79 win over Roanne on Wednesday to clinch a spot in the Eurocup.

Beaten 83-81 in the first Qualifying Round meeting between the sides last week, the Israelis prevailed by seven points on aggregate.

Chester Simmons of Hapoel led all scorers with 22 points while teammate Brandon Hunter chipped in 18.

Roanne battled to the very end and got as close as 79-74 with 3:42 remaining after a three-point play from the excellent Uchenna Nsonwu.

The score meant that the French team was behind by three points overall in the tie.

Hapoel responded with two free-throws by Yogev Ohayon and a basket by Kevinn Pinkney to go back on top by nine in the contest and they did enough over the final three minutes to make it to the Eurocup regular season.

A key stretch in the contest came at the beginning of the second quarter.

Roanne were on top 22-18 when Hunter dunked, Ohayon buried a jump shot and Sharon Shason connected from behind the arc.

Ohayon followed with two more free-throws and then Hunter made one of two at the charity stripe to cap a 10-0 run.

Hapoel led in the game, and over the two legs, the rest of the way.

Nsonwu finished with 21 points for Roanne, who will play in EuroChallenge.

David Noel, who had 26 points in the first leg for Roanne, was held to just two in the second.

Roanne hurt their own cause by turning the ball over 18 times and also missing seven of their 15 (53.3%) free-throws while Hapoel were a scintillating 19 of 21 (90.5%) at the stripe.

Hapoel were nine of 19 (47.4%) from three-point range, Roanne nine of 26 (34.6%).

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