AUCKLAND (FIBA U19 World Championship) – Behind 11/16 three point shooting in the first half, the USA have blown away Canada and cruised into the FIBA U19 World Championship semi finals in Auckland, New Zealand.
Overall, the US connected on 14/26 three pointers, led by Seth Curry and Gordon Haywood (both 4/5). In contrast, Canada could manage just 6/20 from the perimeter.
After a slow start, the Canadians appeared to have settled and drew within one with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter. It was then that Curry sparked the USA’s remarkable three point barrage by connecting on back to back triples, before adding a third in the final minute to give his team a 25-15 quarter time lead.
The long range clinic did not abate in the second quarter, and when Shelvin Mack hit from beyond the arc midway through the second term, the USA had hit 9 triples in 9:29, to lead 45-27.
The second half played out without Canada ever seriously challenging, and the USA kept their unbeaten record in tact, winning 93-73. They now face Croatia in a mouth-watering semi final at 8:30pm at the North Shore Events Centre.
For the USA, Hayward (20 points), Howard Thompkins, Curry (both 12 points), Tyshawn Taylor and John Shurna (both 10) all scored in double figures. The Canadians were led by Tristan Thompson (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Kelly Olynk (14 points, 7 rebounds).
Canada play Puerto Rico in a classification game to help determine placings 5-8.
They said :
Mangisto Arop, Canada :
“When anyone shoots the ball like that it’s pretty tough to guard. But at the same I feel that maybe we didn’t bring our best defensive intensity. When a team comes out shooting the ball at a high level like that you have to bring your defensive intensity, and I didn’t feel like we brought it to the level we required.
We knew they were a team that have a lot of great shooters. So it’s not like they have two shooters you can key on, we knew coming in that we need to get out on their shooters. They moved the ball well but at the same time we didn’t defend as well as we could.
We’ve got to come out strong because this (Puerto Rico) is a team we have played a few times in the last two years. It’s going to be fun tomorrow so we are just going to put this one away and come out strong tomorrow.”
Seth Curry, USA :
“We have so many great players on our team that I don’t have to force it, just come in and try to spread the wealth a little bit. Tonight, they found a lot of open shots for me and I knocked them down.
We struggled a little bit with the rebounding tonight but that was something that coach kept getting on us about. We had a lot of confidence coming in. Every game is a different so you have to bring it every night.
They’re (Croatia) a good team, I’ve been watching them a little bit, it’s going to be a good test for us and we have just got to come out ready to play.”