Jerusalem blow past AEK, qualify for first BCL Final Four
JERUSALEM (Israel) - Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem closed out their Quarter-Finals series against AEK with a dominant wire-to-wire 91-51 victory in a deciding Game 3 in front of a packed crowd inside Pais Arena.
Jerusalem are now the second team from Israel to ever make the Semi-Finals of the Basketball Champions League, joining Hapoel Atsmon Holon who made it that far last season.
Turning point: Jerusalem jumped out to an early lead from the start and led by as many as 24 points in the second quarter, as AEK were held to just 22 points in the first half. Brynton Lemar had 12 of those points for the road team.
Jerusalem kept improving on their biggest lead and pulled out by as many as 40 points in the second half, never leaving the door open for any chance of a comeback by AEK.
Game hero: Levi Randolph was once again the main man for Jerusalem, leading the way with a game-high 25 points along with 5 rebounds and 2 steals. The 30-year-old forward got to his spots in the mid-range and shot 8-of-14 from the field, a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and also made his only three-point attempt.
Jerusalem were a +31 in his 30 minutes on the court.
Stats don't lie: AEK made just 14 shots from the field in the entire game and converted 28 percent of those shots, as well as just 5-of-29 from three-point range. Jerusalem, meanwhile, were able to get 57.4 percent of their shots to fall from the field and knocked down 11-of-17 three-pointers.
Jerusalem also doubled-up AEK in bench points (40-19), with Siim-Sander Vene and Khadeen Carrington each chipping in 15 points and combining for 30 of those bench points for Jerusalem.
Bottom line: Jerusalem will make their first ever appearance in the BCL Final Four and as a result, Aleksandar Dzikic's name will continue to be brought up as one of the Coach of the Year candidates. They improved to 12-3 in the BCL this season.
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AEK, on the other hand, finish their BCL season 10-7, and the Queen won't return to the Final Four after last making that phase of the competition back in Season Four. In what was a tough all-around game for AEK, Lemar was a bright spot, finishing with a team-high 21 points and making 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc.