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Strong second half defense leads Ironi Rain Nahariya past Akademik

Strong second half defense leads Ironi Rain Nahariya past Akademik
01-12-2021 | 20:44
Ironi Rain Nahariya recorded its second win in a row in Group B of Delasport Balkan League. Playing for third straight game at home the team managed to beat last season runners-up Akademik Plovdiv 98-73. It was thanks to a great defense in the second half that Ironi built such a big lead. The first half was close but especially in the fourth quarter the home side was far superior. They now stand at 2-1 record and will travel to Plovdiv to meek today's opponent on December 14th. Akademik on the other side lost for second tiime in a row and now has 4-2 record. Next week the team will look to get back on winning track as on December 9th they are hosting Ibar.

The teams exchanged baskets early before the hosts went on a 7-0 run to go up by 9. Later they increased the lead to 11 and kept some distance from its opponent leading by 10 after the end of the first quarter. Akademik performed better in the second but only after the middle of it. Thanks to a 10-2 run they closed the gap to just 4 and in the final minute of the half cut it to 2 as the teams went in to the break.

The hosts improved their defense in the third quarter and managed to pull away. They started it with a 13-2 run to go up by 13 and held on to their advantage in the next minutes. When the quarter finished Ironi led by 10 points and early in the fourth they increased the lead even more and had no trouble until the end.

Stephon Branch was the top scorer for the winners with 21 points. Tomer Cohen did well by scoring 15 as Dustin Thomas had 14 and 7 assists.

The visitors were led by Vasil Bachev who had 21 points as Nemanja Besovic added 18. A total of 29 turnovers in the game was too much for Akademik as the home side took full advantage of that as they had just 7.

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