20 November, 2017
26 February, 2019
Game Report
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Howell, Israel get Qualifiers underway with home win over Estonia

TEL AVIV (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - Israel got the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers underway by holding off a potent challenge from Estonia in Group H on Friday.

The Oded Katash-coached side triumphed 88-68 over their rivals from from the Baltics at the Shlomo Group Arena in Tel Aviv after running away to a convincing margin in the second half of the game.

Turning Point: After staying close in the first two quarters, Estonia started to fall behind after the intermission. An Ingus Kajupank three-pointer had cut the gap to just 60-54 with a minute left in the third period, but Shawn Dawson led a 17-2 run for Israel to secure an easy finish for the hosts.

Game Hero: Israel big man Richard Howell had a dominant all-around performance and flirted with a triple-double, collecting team-highs of 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the home side for a total efficiency of 30.

Stats Don't Lie: Both sides made 9 three-pointers each, with the only difference being that Israel needed 24 fewer attempts to get to that mark. The hosts went 9-of-14 from deep, while Estonia converted on just 9-of-38 attempts.

Bottom Line: Israel was only one of two teams to score fewer than 50 points in a single game in the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in a 69-48 loss to Italy. They topped their scoring output in the second half of this game alone, outgunning Estonia 50-33 in the second half.

They Said: "I am very happy and excited about the win. It was a big test for us. We came into the game without knowing what to expect. Halftime was very important for us to talk and adapt a few things we wanted to execute offensively and defensively." – Israeli national team head coach Oded Katash.

"It's a great win for us to start the road like this. Before the game, we knew we would have to make some adjustments during the game and we did it. First of all, on defense and I also felt we were more fluid on offense in the second half." – Israeli national team guard Gal Mekel.