USA Rolls Over Egypt 112-55, Improves To 3-0
-- Balanced Offensive Showing Sees Seven USA Players Score In Double-Digits --
July 4, 2009 - Auckland, New Zealand
Howard Thompkins helped the USA dominate Egypt 112-55, scoring 12 points and grabbing four rebounds. (FIBA Photo).
Despite being over 6500 mile from the shores of the United States, the USA Men's U19 team (3-0) celebrated the Fourth of July with an explosive 112-55 rout of Egypt (1-2) Saturday afternoon in Auckland, New Zealand. Paced by Ashton Gibbs' (Pittsburgh / Scotch Plains, N.J.) 18 points, seven U.S. players scored in double-digits as the USA improved its record to 3-0.
The win earned the USA squad Group B's No. 1 seed as it advances into the July 6-8 Second Round. Advancing to form Group E for the Second Round are the United States, France and Egypt from Group B, Greece, Puerto Rico and Lithuania from Group A. Moving on to form Group F for the second round is Australia, Spain and Canada from Group C, and Argentina, Croatia and Kazakhstan from Group D. Following a day off, the action resumes July 6 with the United States taking on Greece (7:30 p.m. Auckland time). The USA will conclude the Second Round action by facing Puerto Rico on July 7 and Lithuania on July 8. Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the two second round groups will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth places in Groups E and F will play for ninth through 12th places. The quarterfinals will be held on July 10, semifinals are slated for July 11 and the gold medal game will be contested on July 12.
-We handled things well today," said USA head coach Jamie Dixon. -We knew this was a game that we should win. What I was impressed with was the focus and determination we showed today.
-One of our goals was to finish the preliminary round with our group's No. 1 seed and we achieved that today. Another goal of ours is to continue to improve throughout the tournament and over the last two games I think we have, especially defensively."
The USA started quickly. Shelvin Mack (Butler / Lexington, Ky.) scored five points and Terrico White (Mississippi / Memphis, Tenn.) added four as the U.S. took control early 9-2. With 5:01 left in the first quarter and the USA leading 14-6, Gibbs, who had 12 points in the first half, accounted for seven points in a span of 1:11 to help push the American advantage to 24-8.
Closing out the quarter fully in charge 33-11, the U.S. shot 13-of-20 from the floor and committed just a lone turnover in the game's first 10 minutes.
It was more of the same in the second stanza. Receiving point production from seven different players, the USA opened the quarter with a 20-4 scoring barrage and its lead ballooned to 53-15 with 4:58 left to play. By halftime, the red, white and blue had taken a 62-24 lead and cruised on in for the 112-55 victory.
As had been the case in the USA's first two games, the win was highlighted by a balanced offensive effort. All 11 healthy USA players scored. Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor (Jersey City, N.J.) sat the game out suffering from the flu.
In addition to his 18 points, Gibbs handed out a game high six assists in his 18 minutes, while Mack finished with 14 points and four assists; John Shurna (Northwestern / Glen Ellyn, Ill.) posted 13 points and six rebounds; Howard Thompkins (Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.) scored 12 points; White finished with 11 points and eight rebounds; Klay Thompson (Washington State / Ladera Ranch, Calif.) recorded 11 points and seven rebounds; Gordon Hayward (Butler / Brownsburg, Ind.), added 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots; and Darius Miller (Kentucky / Lexington, Ky.) was credited with a game high nine rebounds to with nine point.
'This (game) was more of a run and gun game. We just took advantage of the transition offense that they gave us and we got a lot of easy baskets and went from there,' said Gibbs, who made 8-of-11 shots in the game.
After shooting a blazing 62.5 percent in the first two quarters, the USA finished shooting 56.6 percent from the floor overall, and shot 44.4 percent from 3-point after making 12-of-27 tries. Outrebounding Egypt 49-28, the USA defense stymied Egypt into just 32.8 percent shooting, including just 1-of-13 from 3-point.
'We're going to have to step it up (in the next round) but at the same time we have a high level of confidence in our ability to play as a team, to make shots, rebound. We understand that the competition is going to be stiff but at the same time we're going to come with everything we have,' Thompkins stated. 'Defense is the most important thing to our coaching staff and it's become the most important thing to our team. We take pride in our defense and we get mad at each other when we don't make defensive assignments and it's become a big deal to us.'
In other Saturday completed action, Australia (3-0) dominated Syria (0-3) 96-54; Croatia (3-0) stunned Argentina (2-1) 75-63, and Puerto Rico (2-1) routed Angola (0-3) 86-49. Remaining Saturday games includes France (1-1) versus Iran (0-2), Canada (1-1) takes on Spain (1-1)Yu, Lithuania (1-1) will battle Greece (2-0), and New Zealand (0-2) will face Kazakhstan (0-2).
Dixon is being assisted on the USA sidelines by collegiate head coaches Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois University and Matt Painter of Purdue University.
The 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship features 16 national teams comprised of athletes 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1990) that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments. The United States was placed in Group B, along with Egypt, France and Iran.
The top three finishing teams from each preliminary group qualified for the preliminary second round, while the fourth place teams qualify for the classification round to determine 13th to 16th places.
The twelve teams qualified for the second round, which will be played July 6-8, are divided into groups E and F, with six teams in each group. The top three preliminary round teams from groups A and B will advance to Group E, and the top three from C and D will advance to Group F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with the final scores of all games played in the preliminary round carrying over to determine the second round standings.
Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the two second round groups will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth places in Groups E and F will play for ninth .through 12th places. The quarterfinals will be held on July 10, semifinals are slated for July 11 and the gold medal game will be contested on July 12.