USA Men Open FIBA U17 World Cup With Victory Over Lebanon

USA Men Open FIBA U17 World Cup With Victory Over Lebanon

| Sunday 03 July 2022

Source: NNA

The USA Basketball Men’s U17 National Team began their quest for a sixth consecutive FIBA U17 World Cup gold medal with a 120-44 victory over Lebanon on Saturday at Palacio de los Deportes Elena Benítez. The decision puts the USA atop Group C with Slovenia, who also won their World Cup opener on Saturday.

The USA raced to a 59-28 lead at halftime by virtue of two significant scoring runs to open the first and second quarter. The U.S. scored the first 13 points of the game and established an early 17-3 advantage. The second quarter began in a similar fashion, but this time the USA run was 20-4. Each run was rooted in tenacious defense that stalled Lebanon throughout.

Overall, the USA scored 53 points off 34 turnovers. Not coincidental, the U.S. finished the game with 53 points in transition. The defensive stalwarts were Sean Stewart (six steals, two blocks), Johnuel ‘Boogie’ Fland (five steals) and Cooper Flagg (three blocks). The USA held Lebanon to 25% shooting from the field in the game.

As well as the U.S. played in the first half, the second 20 minutes of action was equally as impressive. Behind 61 second half points, the U.S. outscored their opponent by at least 22 points in the third (34-11) and fourth (27-5) quarter.

David Castillo and Ian Jackson were the co-leading scorers for the U.S. as both finished with 21 points. Castillo had a strong first quarter by scoring 12 of his points in the first few minutes of the game, including nailing three 3-pointers. Jackson aggressively attacked the rim throughout the game, finishing 10-of-17 from the field with nine of those baskets coming on two-pointers.

Other double figure scorers included Ronald Holland (16 points, six rebounds), Jeremy Fears Jr. (11 points, four rebounds), Koa Peat (11 points, seven rebounds) and DJ Wagner (10 points, four steals).

As a team, the red, white and blue shot 50% in the game (50-100 FG).

The U.S. continues Group C play on Sunday, July 3, with a 2:45 p.m. ET contest against Slovenia. The third and final game in the group phase is set for Tuesday, July 5, against Mali at 2:45 p.m. ET. The World Cup bracket, beginning with the Round of 16, begins on Wednesday, July 6. --- USAB

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