Visiting Israel Too Hot For Bulgaria

17 August 2014
Omri Casspi (Israel)
Omri Casspi scored 19 points for Israel

Israel converted an outlandish 72% of their shots from two-point range to hit the century mark in a 100-84 win over Bulgaria on the road, on Day 3 of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round.

The Israelis have now improved to 2-1 in the Group B standings while Bulgaria are yet to pick up a victory and remain bottom of the table.

Both teams struggled offensively for most of the first half and the low-scoring start appeared to fit Bulgaria just fine as the hosts were leading 19-18 with 2:58 remaining to the end of the opening period.

It was then that the excellent on Sunday Omri Casspi drilled a triple to signal Israel's attempt to speed up the pace somewhat, and the guests reached the first buzzer with a 29-22 lead.

Another triple, this time by Guy Pnini with 7:11 left to play in the second frame, gave Israel their first double-digit lead, 38-27.

Aleksandar Vezenkov replied from long range to reduce to 42-38, 1:27 from the half-time break, but Casspi gave Israel a 46-38 cushion before the break.

Israel quickly restored the double-digit lead when play resumed and, with Bulgaria struggling to keep up, Dor Fischer finished a fast-break at the rim and pushed the gap to its highest value all night, 65-41, with 5:54 left in the third quarter.

The winners scored 58 of their points in the paint and were led by Casspi's 19-point effort, while Fischer finished with a sublime double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds and Mekel collected 16 points and seven assists.

For Bulgaria, Vezenkov had 18 points and five rebounds and Hristo Zahariev picked up 15 points and seven boards in the losing effort.



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