U19 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM WINS A DOG FIGHT IN FIRST CONTEST AT THE FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, 74-71 OVER AUSTRALIA
Toronto, ON - Team Canada's U19 Men's National Team took on Australia this morning in Heraklio Greece for their first match-up of the 2015 FIBA World Championships. Although it took a while for this game to find its flow, Canada was able to keep the Australian attack at bay in what was a terrific dog fight and ultimately downed their top-tier opponent, coming away with the 74-71 victory, improving to 1-0 in World Championship action.
The first quarter was a sloppy one for both teams with the two squads shooting a combined 22.5% (9-40) from the floor. Despite the early shooting woes, team Canada managed to take an early 17-8 lead heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was much the same. Although both teams seemed to rectify their shooting woes, neither was able to stamp their footprint on the game and call it their own. The quarter was a back and forth battle that saw the score tied 30-30 going into halftime.
In the third quarter both teams continued to battle back-and-forth, effectively trading 4 and 5 point runs. Still, neither team was fully able to impose their will on the other. Canada edged their way to a 4-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, 52-48.
The final frame was exactly what we had come to expect from these two gritty teams; Back-and-forth trading buckets. Australia was unable to traverse the small lead that Canada built in the third, ultimately falling to the Canucks 74-71. Despite Canada shooting a strong 42.2% from the field compared to the Aussies 35.8%, the Canadians also managed to tally 21 turnovers which ended up being a major factor in the closeness of this game.
Canada was led by Dillon Brooks' (Mississauga, ON) 22 points, 6 rebounds, & 4 assists. Justin Jackson (Scarborough, ON) provided the perfect complimentary scoring punch, dropping in 11 points, 9 rebounds, & 4 blocks. Not to be outdone, Jadon Cohee (Langly, BC) added 10 points, team captain Chris Egi (Markham, ON) contributed 6 points, 11 rebounds, & 3 blocks, while sharpshooter Corey Johnson (Ottawa, ON) added 9 points & 8 rebounds of his own.
Head Coach Roy Rana touched on the significance of this gritty victory in his post-game comments:
''Proud of our boys who found a way to grind out an important international win vs Australia. These young kids continue to represent our country with great passion. The battle continues again tomorrow vs Tunisia.''
For a full boxscore, click here.
Canada's next challenge comes tomorrow, Sunday June 29th 2015 at 8:15am EST where they are set to face the aforementioned Tunisia. Stay tuned to @CanBball on twitter for live stream and live statistics links.
For full team roster and coaching staff, click here.
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