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EWE Baskets Top Cold-Shooting Hapoel

09 December 2008

EWE Baskets Oldenburg are making their bow in European basketball this season but they are playing like experienced campaigners.

The German outfit, which had to win a couple of qualifying-round ties to reach the Regular Season, claimed an 88-81 triumph at Hapoel Jerusalem on Tuesday to improve to 2-1 in Group E.

Hapoel, normally a good three-point shooting team, nailed just three from 19 attempts on the night while EWE Baskets buried 12 of 28.

Predrag Krunic's EWE Baskets, disappointed by last week's narrow defeat to EclipseJet MyGuide Amsterdam, scored the last 12 points of the first quarter to take a 26-12 lead and it looked as if they might roll to a decisive victory.

But the Israel team clawed the deficit back to just two in the second quarter before EWE Baskets took a 39-36 lead to half-time.

The visitors kept their noses in front until two Timothy Bowers free throws for Hapoel knotted the game at 48-48 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

Jason Gardner replied with a three-ball for EWE Baskets, however, and they managed to put some distance between themselves and the home side to lead 66-59 with 10 minutes to go.

Hapoel reduced the arrears to just three points in the fourth quarter but got no closer.

"I've got to give credit to Jerusalem," said EWE Baskets guard Je'Kel Foster.

"They came out to play. We stayed together in a hostile environment. It's hard to win here. We need to try moving up from this point on."

Hapoel coach Guy Goodes did not cut a happy figure after the setback.

"I'm very disappointed," he said.

"This is a second home loss for us. Our offense was our problem we had only three three-pointers when we usually have 11.

"It was a hard match-up for us with their athletic guards."

Foster finished with 23 points for the winners while Travis Watson also scored 23 and had 13 rebounds for Hapoel.

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