USA Storms Back From 15 Points Down To Claim 101-97 Comeback Win In 2010 Nike Hoop Summit
Trailing by 15 points with just nine seconds left in the third period, the 2010 USA Junior National Select Team rallied to outscore its opponent 42-23 over the game's final 10:09 to capture an exciting, 101-97 comeback win over the World Select Team in the 13th Annual Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday, April 10 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
The Nike Hoop Summit is the country's premier annual basketball game for high-school age boys and features America's elite, young athletes against a World Select Team comprised of top international players 19-years-old or younger. With the win, the USA improved its advantage to 10-3 in the series.
Harrison Barnes (Ames H.S. / Ames, Iowa) and Jared Sullinger (Northland H.S. / Columbus, Ohio), who finished as the USA's leading scorers with 27 and 22 points, respectively, combined in the fourth period for 22 points to help the USA erase the deficit, while local talent Terrence Jones (Jefferson H.S. / Portland, Ore.) sparked the USA's turnaround with a 3-pointer to close the third quarter and a coast-to-coast layup to start the final 10 minutes.
'I was looking for something to put my foot down where we could get a stop and maybe turn the tide,' said USA head coach Bob Cimmino (Mount Vernon H.S., N.Y.). 'I think Terrence's basket at the end of the third quarter was huge. It gave us a little lift and prevented us from being really deep in the hole.'
The World Team was led by a record-setting performance from 6-10 Turkish center Enes Kanter (Stoneridge Prep, Calif. / Turkey), who finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds. Kanter's 13-of-21 shooting performance from the field set the World Team Nike Hoop Summit record for field goals made and attempted and his 34 points broke the individual World Team scoring record of 33 points set by Dirk Nowitzki in 1998.
Thirty-four points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes is very, very impressive,' said World Team head coach Rob Beveridge. 'It's probably one of the best I've seen in a long time, so well done.'
Jones and Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick H.S. / Elizabeth, N.J.) were the only two players to also score points for the red, white and blue in the fourth quarter and both players finished with 15 points apiece.
'We had great support,' Jones said. 'I love my state, and I love living here. To see how the fans came out to support us, the United States and me personally, it was just a great victory, especially to win it at home.'
'In the fourth quarter I just decided to work harder to get open and find the open spot so my teammates could find me,' said Sullinger, who finished the night shooting 10-of-14 from the floor and collected a USA best eight rebounds 'And just feeding off of them, they made it real easy for me.'
Leading 25-20 after one quarter, the U.S. lead stretched to 15 points, 46-31, after an 8-0 run that included four points from Patric Young (Providence H.S. / Jacksonville, Fla.) with 2:19 left in the first half.
Kanter countered, however, with six points in the period's final 2:06 to help cut the lead to 50-41 at the halftime buzzer.
The World Team's Cory Joseph (Findlay Prep, Nev. / Canada) beat the 24-second shot clock with a floater as the World squad opened the third period with a 7-0 run that left the U.S. lead at two, 50-48, at 7:42.
Kanter, who accounted for 13 points in the third period alone, tallied seven during a 13-0 spurt that gave the World Team a 69-57 lead at 2:12. As the last few seconds of the third period ticked off, the World Team had established a 15-point lead. Jones took advantage of some breathing room on the perimeter and knocked down a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining before the final break to give the USA some hope and cut the lead to 74-62.
'I just knew how much time was left on the clock, and I knew I wanted to get up a three,' Jones said. 'I hadn't shot one all game. I had a little bit of room and I decided to shoot. It felt good all the way. That was a big one. We were down 15, and we needed that going into the fourth.'
The USA continued to battle, and after Barnes knocked down a 3-pointer at 8:00 the gap was 76-67. Sullinger scored seven of the USA's next 11 points and with 5:58 left the USA was back within two, 80-78.
Barnes nailed another 3-pointer at 5:29 to put the USA back up by one point, and he converted his own steal into two points at the line after he was fouled to give the USA an 83-30 advantage at 5:00.
The two teams punched away over the final minutes and Kanter, who drew Sullinger's fifth personal foul with 1:59 remaining, put the World up 90-89 with two makes at the line.
Irving's 7' jumper at 1:42 repositioned the USA in the lead 91-90, but Nikola Mirotic (Faymasa Palencia, Spain / Montenegro) scored on the other end and pushed the World back ahead 92-91 with 1:26 left. Barnes drained his fourth and final 3-pointer of the night at 1:09 to give the USA a 94-92 advantage, but the World Team fought back, and Joseph scored a layup to tie the game at 94 with just 54.3 seconds to go.
I have to commend my teammates - Kyrie Irving and Brandon Knight as well as some of the bigs like Jared and Patrick - for giving me good kick-outs and giving me good shots,' Barnes said.
Irving recorded what may have been his most impressive play of the game with a basket and free throw at 44.7 to give the USA a 97-94 lead. Jones collected a World Team miss at 34.4 and sank one of two free throws to put the USA up four, 98-94, and the World Team's Dejan Musli (FMP Zeleznik / Serbia) converted one free at 27.6, as did the USA's Jones at 15.6 to make the score 99-95. The World Team turned the ball over in its next possession, and when Jones converted two more free throws the game's outcome was no longer in doubt.
'We determined as bigs not to get bullied and play hard every possession, because that's what we came here to do: better ourselves and represent USA,' said Sullinger.
Tristan Thompson (Findlay Prep, Nev. / Canada) and Mirotic added 14 points for the World Team, and Musli finished with 11 points.
Cimmino was assisted on the USA sideline by Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.).