Hapoel Jerusalem Falls at the Buzzer

Hapoel Jerusalem lost 77-75 to Zeleznik in Serbia last night, but still qualified for the next stage of the ULEB Cup. The draw for the last 16 takes place in Barcelona on Friday and Jerusalem will be seeded in the second pool.

Hapoel Jerusalem lost 77-75 to Zeleznik in Serbia last night, but still qualified for the next stage of the ULEB Cup. The draw for the last 16 takes place in Barcelona on Friday and Jerusalem will be seeded in the second pool.

With both teams already through to the next stage, the game was about little more than pride for Jerusalem, which lost to the Serbs 77-91 at Malha in the first leg.

Sharon Drucker allowed captain Erez Katz, returning from more than a month out with an injury, to sit the game and, although the game was tightly contested, Jerusalem trailed throughout.

The Serbs took a 42-39 lead into the half and extended their advantage to 66-55 at the end of the third quarter. With five minutes on the clock, Jerusalem trailed 65-73, but a strong defensive spell held the home team scoreless for four minutes and three points shots from Will Solomon and Kelly McCarthy and a basket from Tonji Awojobi leveled the score at 75-75. Zeleznik went to the free throw line after Awojobi committed a foul and Kimani Freind sank both shots to put the home team ahead 77-75. Solomon missed a three point shot with two seconds on the clock and Jerusalem sank to its fourth defeat in the competition.

Solomon paced Jerusalem with 28 points on 12 of 20 shooting and five steals and Awojobi added 16 points and brought down eight rebounds.