EMUS FINISH FIBA U19 WORLD CUP ON THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK
Australia were completely dominant in the paint, doubling up Greece on the boards and pulling down 19 offensive rebounds to own an 18-7 edge in second chance points and a 40-20 edge in points in the paint.
Defensively they were just as impressive, holding Greece to 35% shooting from the field while restricting them to 25 points below their tournament average.
It was a shootout early as Greece knocked down two three’s before Sean MacDonald and Isaiah Lee replied in kind.
As had been the way through most of their victories at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup, the Australia soon asserted themselves on the glass as Kyle Bowen came off the bench to score eight points while the defensive press from Tamuri Wigness helped open up a nine-point buffer.
Emus dominated the glass in Q1 and own a 17-5 edge on the boards with Bowen (8pts, 6rebs) and @TamuriWitnessJr (2pts, 2rebs, 2asts, 1stl) starring off the bench!
— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) July 7, 2019
MacDonald (a game-high 16 points) then had a quick five points which sparked an 11-4 run to open the second term and that pushed the lead beyond double-digits.
However, Australia was not able to get comfortable as Greece finished the half with a 7-2 run of their own to keep things interesting at the main break.
The teams went back and forth through the third period but that suited the Emus as no real damage was being done on the scoreboard.
They knew they had a good thing going under the rim and continued to go to the well with the likes of Bowen (12 points, 11 rebounds), Keli Leaupepe (ten points, 13 boards) and Sam Froling (seven points, six rebounds, two blocks) making the most of their opportunities.
Down the stretch, it took Australia over two minutes to open their account in the final quarter as Greece closed within ten.
But the Emus were never truly threatened and finished the game on a 13-4 run courtesy of Wigness (eight points, two steals) and Alex Ducas (eight points, three assists) before Greece hit a triple on the buzzer.
Find the box score here and watch the replay below.
Despite finishing ninth at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup, the Emus finished the tournament on a three-game winning streak to take their record to 5-2. Their loss to Lithuania in the Round of 16 was a poor game but their only other defeat came at the hands of Canada by just five points and they beat the Grand Finalists in Mali during the group stage.
The Australian Emus results at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup (all times AEST):
June 29: Emus def. by Canada 76-81
June 30: Emus def. Latvia 81-52
July 3: Emus def. Mali 82-79
July 4: Round of 16- Emus def. by Lithuania 74-91
July 5: 9-16 Classification Game- Emus def. Philippines 82-60
July 6: 9-12 Classification Game- Emus def. Latvia 94-80
July 7: 9-10 Classification Game- Emus def. Greece 71-52
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