By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
A 23-point advantage nearly evaporated, but Bnei Ofek Dist Herzliya bounced back in the fourth quarter and defeated Rytas Vilnius, 101-90, Wednesday.
Maurice Kemp posted a 33-point, 11-rebound double-double, firing up a game-high efficiency rating of 37 in Vilnius. The Miami-born power forward made 14/20 of his shots in his personal best scoring showing for the 2022-23 season, after tallying 29 points in the Winner League win against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv Saturday. He fell one point short of matching his career-high in points. Debuting in the Basketball Champions League, Stephen Thompson Jr. poured 13 of his 16 points in the fourth period.
Kemp and Thompson took over after Sandy Cohen was ejected with 6:04 remaining in the third quarter of the Regular Season Gameday 5 affair. Rytas erupted for 31 points going from a 23-point deficit to shooting distance. But Oren Aharoni’s side held on and improved to 2-3 in Group H, rather than dealing with elimination scenarios. Cohen had 15 points up to the early exit. Robert Carter and Andy Van Vliet were both sidelined.
For the losing side at Jeep Arena, Marcus Foster and Elvar Mar Fridriksson finished with 25 and 22 points, respectively. Lukas Uleckas was not available.
The team coached by Giedrius Zibenas, reigning champions of Lithuania’s Betsafe LKL, fell into a tie with the Gameday 5 opponent at 2-3. Rytas will play host to Lenovo Tenerife while Peristeri bwin and Vassilis Spanoulis go to Israel in the finale, Gameday 6. Sweeping the home-and-away series, part of the double-legged round-robin schedule, the tiebreaking advantage belongs to Herzliya.
Postgame press conference:
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League