USA 78 Australia 77
At the end of Group play last Wednesday it appeared as though Team USA and Team Australia would meet in the U19 Finals in Riga, Latvia. The two did meet in their last game Sunday, but the prize was fifth place, not the Gold. Trailing by three after the first period (21-24), Team USA was out scored by one (18-19) in the second period, going into the half down by four (39-43). The Americans turned it around in the third period, 21-16, and held off the Aussies in the fourth period (18 all) to preserve their edge and the win. #2 guard Hugh Greenword paced all scorers with 26 points on 10-23 (6-14, 4-9) shooting from the floor, going 0-2 from the line. Three other Emus, Mitchell Creek (11 points), Jackson Aldridge (11 points) and Anthony Dmric (10 points) logged double digit points in the losing effort. Tim Hardaway came off of the bench to pace Team USA with 21 points 8-16 (3-7, 5-9) shooting from the floor adding 2-3 from the line. Two other squad members, Doug McDermott (13 points) and Meyers Leonard (10 points) chipped in double-digit points. Mitchell Creek fell one rebound short of a double-double. Two other Australians, small forward Daniel Trist and Greenwood chipped in six rebounds apiece. Meyers Leonard paced the Americans with six rebounds, while four others (Jeremy Lamb, Patric Young, McDermott and Hardaway) grabbed five apiece.
Crunching the game boxscore to develop some possession-based stats for the game...
Defense? Ah...No Actually
Playing at a pace more to Australia's liking, Team USA nevertheless won. Despite being outshot by the Emus, the Americans were able to find another way to win, an attribute that eluded this squad in their games against Croatia and Russia. When their shot failed, the Americans were able to squeak out the win by getting after their misses (see OR% above), limiting their turnovers (see TO%) and doing a better job at getting to the line (see FTA/FGA above).
Villanova's wing James Bell scored four points on 2-5 (0-1, 2-4) shooting from the floor while shooting blanks, 0-3, from the line. Bell grabbed four (2-2-4) rebounds while gaining a steal in 13 minutes of play. Bell started all nine games in the tournament.