USA U19 Team Tops Canada 93-73 And Advances To Medal Semifinals
--Record Setting Shooting From Afar Earns United States A Win
Over Canada And A Semifinal Date With Croatia --
July 10, 2009 - Auckland, New Zealand
|Seth Curry hit 4-of-5 3-point shots as the Americans ripped the Candians 93-73.|
Setting USA U19 single game records for most 3-point field goals made and highest single game 3-point shooting percentage, the USA (7-0) behind a 14-for-26 3-point shooting barrage rolled over Canada (3-4) 93-73 Friday night in FIBA U19 World Championship play in Auckland, New Zealand.
The win improved the United States record to 7-0 and advanced the Americans into Saturday's medal round semifinals where they will face Croatia (6-1) at 8:30 p.m. (Auckland local time, +16 hours EDT). Croatia advanced after earning a solid 91-78 victory over Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals. Greece (5-2) will face Australia (7-0) in the other medal semifinal game Saturday. Winners of the semifinal match-up advance to Sunday's 7:30 p.m. gold medal game.
-We didn't play well in our last game and that may have been understandable as it was our sixth game and we had our spot (into the quarterfinals) clinched. But I thought today we played with a real sense of focus and urgency, especially offensively. I thought we were unselfish," said USA and University of Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon.
|Gordan Hayward scored game high 20 points and drained 4-of-5 shots from 3-point.|
-It was good to see us shoot the ball well. I thought that was one of our strengths but we haven't really shot it great, but we did tonight. I thought we passed it well to get those open shots and we took good shots and that's all part of it. Take good shots, you shoot a higher percentage, you get a rhythm and you feel good and that's what we did tonight."
From the opening tip, the 3-point shot was on for the USA team. Sinking 11-of-16 3-pointers in the first two periods alone, the USA made 14-of 26 tries overall. Six different U.S. players hit at least one three in the game's first 20 minutes.
The USA's 14 made 3-pointers set a new USA game record, bettering the old mark of 13 (7/15/03 versus Lithuania). Also, the USA's 53.8 shooting percentage from three improved on the old record of 50.0 percent (7/22/95 vs. France).
-I could tell in warm up before the game, it felt good, just my stroke and I knew I could carry it over to the game. I was very confident out there," admitted Seth Curry (Duke / Charlotte, N.C.) about his shooting before the game. -I was kind of struggling with my shooting the past few games so it felt good to make some shots and help the team.'
Leading 10-9, Curry hit back-to-back threes and after Darius Miller (Kentucky / Lexington, Ky.) scored inside to finish off a 9-0 run that pushed the USA advantage to 19-9.
|Grabbing a game best 11 rebounds, Arnett Moultrie helped lead the U.S. to a 39-35 advantage on the glass.|
Leading 25-15 to start quarter two, six of the USA's first seven made baskets of the second quarter were from behind the 3-point line as the Americans took charge 45-22 following a three from Shelvin Mack (Butler / Lexington, Ky.) with 4:56 remaining before halftime. Canada rallied over the final 4:56 to outscore the U.S. 14-8, leaving the USA lead at 51-36 at intermission.
With 10 of the USA's 11 players pumping in points in the first half, the U.S. shot 62 percent from the field and was a sizzling 69 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. On the other end, Canada struggled with its shooting accuracy, sinking just 34 percent of its shots.
Canada whittled the USA lead to 14 with 6:10 in the third quarter, but a 3-pointer from Klay Thompson (Washington State / Ladera Ranch, Calif.) stopped the comeback and Canada never seriously threatened the U.S. again.
All 11 healthy USA players scored, led by Gordon Hayward (Butler / Brownburg, Ind.) who posted 20 points on 4-of-5 3-point shooting and added three rebounds and three steals. Howard Thompkins (Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.) contributed 12 points and four rebounds, Curry tallied 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the 3-point line, while John Shurna (Northwestern / Glen Ellyn, Ill.) added 10 points and four blocked shots, and Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas / Jersey City, N.J.) scored 10 points and also handed out a team high seven assists. Arnett Moultrie (UTEP / Memphis, Tenn.) led the USA's rebounding effort with a game high 11, including six offensive boards.
On the night, the U.S. shot 53.3 percent from the field, while holding Canada to 39.4 percent overall, 30.0 percent from 3-point, and the USA outrebounded their neighbors to the north by a 39-35 tally. In Friday's other game action, Greece (5-2) dismantled Argentina (3-4) 86-60; Australia (7-0) nipped France 79-73 (3-4), and Croatia (6-1) bettered Puerto Rico (4-3) 91-78. In the consolation quarterfinals, Lithuania (4-3) pounded Kazakhstan (1-6) 113-79 and Spain (4-3) overpowered Egypt (1-5) 88-73.
Dixon is being assisted on the USA sidelines by collegiate head coaches Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois University and Matt Painter of Purdue University.