Thursday, March 26, 2009

Israel Women's D1 Semifinals 2/2008 - Elizur Ramla 95, Maccabi Ramat Hen 91 (2 OT)

Maccabi Ramat Hen had lost their home field advantage with a loss in the previous game, so they needed a win to get back up on top in the best-of-five semi-finals series with Elizur Ramla. The two teams ended up tied 71-71 in regulation, and it took two overtimes for Ramla to beat Ramat Hen to take a 2-0 lead in the best of five series.

Any future loss by Maccabi Ramat Hen will eliminate them from post-season contention. The box score is here. A good writeup of the game is here.

Visiting Ramat Hen would start the game with a 24-15 lead over Ramla after 10 minutes, and it would be home team's job to catch up. Ramat Hen still led Ramla 38-34 at halftime, and both teams played evenly in the third quarter. At one point, Rabat Hen led 64-51 with eight minutes leff in the game, but Ramla battled back with a 13-0 run. Ramla was able to make up the four-point deficit to tie the game 71-71 with 50 seconds to go on a 3-pointer by Olena Ogorodnikova. Five minutes later, the game was still tied 78-78, sending the game into a second overtime where Ramat Hen just fell apart.

Shay Doron had a harsh assessment of her team. "We're losers. We had this game in our hands twice at least. We don't know how to win. Stupid decisions, misses under the basket. Instead of stepping up and saying we're winning this game in the last six minutes, we made a mistake on offense and a mistake on defense and that's the way it ended. We didn't deserve to win tonight because we had the game and we gave it away".

Ramat Hen hit 47 percent of their attempted field goals, compared to just 41 percent for Elizur Ramla - but Ramla went 13-for-37 from behind the 3-point line. Each team had similar free turnover numbers and free throw numbers.

Neither team's bench contributed much. Ramla's benchwarmers contributed 10 points and Maccabi Ramat Hen's contributed 12. That left the 10 starters on each side to play a lot of minutes. Ramat Hen could still come back - as Orli Klinger writes, last year Ramat Hen had a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series...and lost the following three games.

Elizur Ramla

Olena Ogorodnikova: 25 points and 11 rebounds with 3 assists.
Sheri Sam: 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 rebounds. Sam plays for the Detroit Shock.
Tamera Moore: 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the second of three double-doubles in this game. Moore is a former player for the Houston Comets.

Maccabi Ramat Hen

Ayana Walker: 22 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists.
Ivory Latta: 24 points, 4 assists.
LaToya Pringle: 17 points and 9 rebounds. If she had one more rebound, it would have been the game's fourth double-double.
Shay Doron: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists.

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