USA U-19s rout China
A defense that chased China (1-1) into 32 turnovers and an inside game that saw the Americans command 30 offensive boards and outrebound their opponents 50 to 14, combined to lead the USA Men’s U19 World Championship Team (2-0) to its second consecutive 56 point-plus victory as the USA recorded a dominating 113-57 win in preliminary round play at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.
“The first 15 points they scored were on five 3-point shots. We fouled a 3-point shooter on the first possession of the game and then we gave up four threes. I think that’s something we’ve really talked a lot about, defend the 3-point line” said USA and University of Florida mentor Billy Donovan.
“When we really went on our run is when we stopped the three and got some rebounds and got out on transition to score around the basket, which is where we are most effective. I thought it was a good lesson for us in terms of giving up 3-point shots where we’ve got to do a much, much better job. And we did a better job the rest of the game stopping the three.”
China, which one night earlier stunned Russia 71-69, looked confident early on and after scoring its first 15 points off of plays for 3-pointers, the USA trailed 15-12 with 3:36 left in the quarter.
Following a time-out and Donovan stressing to his squad the need to do a better job of defending the 3-point arc, the U.S. went on a 17-2 terrorizing run to finish off the opening stanza and grab a 29-17 lead.
“A big emphasis for our team since day one is guarding the 3-point line,” stated U.S. guard Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep/Happy Valley, Ore.). “A couple of times early they got free for a couple of open looks but during the first timeout coach really stressed the point to us again and kind of got after us a little bit, and after that we did a better job a taking it away.”
In the first quarter alone, the USA’s hounding press forced nine China turnovers and the U.S. grabbed 10 offensive boards.
The final three minutes of the first quarter were just a taste of what was to come for China.
Pressing full out and using its superior man-power, the Americans put on an impressive display of athleticism and basketball.
Leading 29-20 with 9:48 left in the second period, the U.S. reeled off 16 consecutive points to sprint ahead 45-20, and by the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the U.S. was way out ahead, leading 63-29.
The onslaught continued in the second half and the Americans outscored China 26-10 in the third quarter and 27-18 in the final 10 minutes.