Bouldin Bucket Puts USA Ahead For Good
July 13, 2007
NOVI SAD, Serbia - Behind 21 points and seven rebounds from Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep, Mass./ Frederick, Md.), the 2007 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team (2-0) defeated China (0-2) 103-77 on Friday night in Novi Sad, Serbia.
After battling with China for the lead in the first quarter, the U.S. went ahead 14-11 as Gonzaga University sophomore Matt Bouldin got a bucket at 4:10 and USA never trailed again. Bouldin scored 5 points, going 2-for-4 from the field, including 1-for-1 from 3-point range. He grabbed 3 rebounds and had 4 steals in 17 minutes.
The Americans, who had 10 players compete in the first quarter, wore down the Chinese, who never subbed during that time. As time wound down, Beasley took a feed from Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.) for a dunk to put the U.S. up 24-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Also scoring in double digits were Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.), who notched 14 points, Patrick Beverley (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.) and Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.) tossed in 13 each and David Lighty (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio) chipped in 10 points.
The USA will cap preliminary play against host Serbia (2-0) Saturday. In the other Group B Game, Serbia trounced Mali (0-2) 70-47.
"Certainly it was probably our best game in terms of execution on the fast break," said USA and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright. "We got several baskets on two and three passes after rebounding instead of dribbling it. In all honesty, we probably missed four or five dunks that would have spread this game a little more. We had that lull right at the end of the third quarter that got them back into it a little bit. We made some progress in some areas and took a step back in others. We're going to have to play a whole lot better to win it all here."
Continuing to pull away, the red, white and blue outscored China 31-15 in the second quarter for a 55-30 halftime lead. The USA had a little let down in the third quarter as China managed to win that 10-minute span 29-26, but the USA's foes never seriously threatened as the Americans came away with the victory.
"It was a little tougher than yesterday," said Beasley. "They came out ready to play obviously, but we kept our composure and came out with the win."
The American squad outrebounded China 44-32 and forced 28 turnovers, while committing just 17 of their own. The USA's unselfish play also led to 20 assists, a high of six from Beverly, on a total of 44 field goals. For the second time in as many games, the U.S. shot better than 50 percent from the field, nailing 53.0 percent (44-83 FGs) from the floor, while China shot 45.3 percent (24-53 FGs).
Donté Greene (Towson Catholic H.S. / Baltimore, Md.) suffered a right shoulder contusion in the second half of the USA's first game, did not compete against China and is listed as day to day.
In other preliminary round play, Lithuania (1-1) downed Lebanon (0-2) 105-69, France (2-0) remained undefeated with a 98-73 victory over Brazil (1-1), Australia (2-0) nipped Nigeria (0-2) 77-73, South Korea (1-1) edged Puerto Rico (0-2) 98-94, Turkey (1-1) passed by Canada (1-1) 81-58 and Spain (2-0) took down Argentina (1-1) 88-68.
The top three teams from each of the four preliminary round groups advance to the July 16-18 second round. The top three teams from Groups A and B will compete in round-robin play in second round Group E; while the top three teams from Groups C and D will play each other in Group F. The preliminary round results carry over to the second round standings, and teams will only face advancing squads from the opposite group in second round action. Quarterfinals will be contested on July 20, the semifinals on July 21 and the gold medal tilt is slated for July 22.
Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, is heading up the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team coaching staff, and collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University's (D.C.) Karl Hobbs are serving as assistant coaches.
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