FEBRUARY 2022 FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
Washington, DC • February 24-27, 2022
Defeating Puerto Rico 93-76 and Mexico 89-67, the USA won a pair of crucial home victories in the second window of FIBA World Cup Qualifying play. The two wins improved the USA's overall record to 3-1 and lifted the Americans into a tie for first place in the group standings.
FEB. 2022 USA RESULTS (2-0)
Trailing 44-42 at halftime, the USA men outscored Puerto Rico 32-14 in the third quarter to take control of the game on the way to a 93-76 win in FIBA World Cup Qualifying play in the Americas zone on Feb. 24 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
“I thought our depth, I thought our defensive intensity turned that game,” said USA head coach Jim Boylen. “We came together and did it at the defensive end of the floor, which we've talked about, we've worked on, and we got a lot from a lot of guys. We are a group that, since day one, has come together and really cared for each other and worked hard. We were down early, didn't maybe play as well as we had hoped, but we hung in there. I'm really happy for guys and proud of them.”
Seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson led the USA with 18 points, sharpeshooter Matt Ryan added 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point, Justin Wright-Foreman scored 13 points and Juwan Morgan contributed 12 points.
Sixty-one of the USA’s 93 points came from its bench, and Jordan Bell tied a U.S. Men’s Wold Cup Qualifying single-game record with three blocked shots.
The USA trailed 17-9 to start the game, however, an 11-4 U.S. run pulled the USA within one, 21-20 at 1:25. Puerto Rico answered with a 3 and at the end the first period led 27-20. While the USA shot a respectable 7-of-15 from the field (.466), Puerto Rico was at 61.1% on 11-of-18 shooting.
Puerto Rico stretched its lead to 32-22 early in the second quarter, but Ryan answered with two 3s, which were followed by five points from Morgan, and the USA was within three points, 36-33 at 4:11. The teams traded baskets, before a score from Langston Galloway from deep was followed by points from Johnson, and the score was tied at 40-40 with 1:28 to play. Both teams added two points before Puerto Rico ended the first half scoring with a tip-in to make it 44-42 at halftime.
The USA opened the second half with 3s from David Stockton and Wright-Foreman to go ahead 48-44. The score was tied 50-50 and 52-52, before another 3-pointer from Wright-Foreman gave the USA a 55-52 lead, and the USA never again trailed.
The USA gave up just six more points in the last 6:21 of the third, while it raced to 19 points from seven different scorers to lead 74-58 at the end of the period.
The USA had its largest lead of the game, 84-60, on a dunk from Bell at 7:08, but Puerto Rico closed the game with a 16-9 run that shrank the margin to its 93-76 final score.
Bell was the USA’s leading rebounder with eight boards, while Jared Harper dished out five assists.
The USA never trailed while cruising to an 89-67 win over previously undefeated Mexico on Feb. 27 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
The USA’s performance was a convincing outcome that followed a 97-88 U.S. loss the last time the two teams met in the first window on Nov. 30 in Mexico.
While Mexico found success inside, matching the USA’s 43 rebounds and getting 32 points in the paint and 14 second-chance points, the USA was helped by 15 made 3-pointers (15-43 3pt FGs, .349) in the win.
“We started this camp with Mexico on our heart,” said Boylen. “They humbled us in Mexico. We were ready to play against them. They beat us from the 3-point line down there, and they beat us bad. So, I have to give our guys credit. They came prepared. They followed the game plan and they executed against a really good team that we respect.”
Galloway led the USA with 16 points, Stockton had 15, Johnson scored 14 points, Ryan added 12 points and Wright-Foreman rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Harper had six assists, while Bell was the top rebounder with seven boards.
“It's big,” Galloway said of the win. “We knew they were a desperate team, and we had to come out with a lot of energy, a lot of focus, because they have a lot of skilled and talented a players. So, us coming out and playing hard and having fun - that was the biggest thing to me. We had a lot of fun tonight as a team, got a lot of rebounds, which was big, because they are a big, physical team. We just took it one possession at a time and just continued to build on that lead.”
Both teams started the game cold. The USA was 4-of-13 from the field in the first seven minutes and the score was 11-7 with 2:56 to play in the opening quarter. From there, however, the USA heated up, outscoring Mexico 13-7 to take a 24-14 lead at the first quarter break. The USA finished the period shooting 42.1% with eight assists, while the USA defense limited Mexico to just 29.4% from the field in the first stanza.
The USA gave up only seven points to Mexico in the second quarter, while Johnson scored eight of the USA’s 24 points in the period, and the USA lead ballooned to 48-21 at halftime. By the midway point, the USA had committed just two turnovers.
Mexico had a 10-0 run early in the third quarter that helped it trim the margin by four points in the period, but the USA still was comfortably in the lead, 68-45, headed into the fourth. The USA built its biggest lead in the fourth quarter, 89-58 at 4:12, but Mexico put the last nine points of the game on the board to reach the final.
FEBRUARY 2022 USA MEN'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING TEAM ROSTER
|NAME||POS||HGT||WGT||AGE||G LEAGUE TEAM/SCHOOL||HOMETOWN|
|Jordan Bell||F||6-8||216||27||Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Oregon
||Long Beach, CA|
|Tarik Black||C||6-9||250||30||Grand Rapids Gold/Kansas
|Brian Bowen II||G/F||6-6||190||23||Iowa Wolves/N/A
|Langston Galloway||G||6-1||200||30||College Park Skyhawks/Saint Joseph's
||Baton Rouge, LA|
|Jared Harper||G||6-0||175||24||Birgingham Squadron/Auburn
|Joe Johnson||F||6-7||240||40||Free Agent/Arkansas
||Little Rock, AR|
|George King||G/F||6-6||220||28||Agua Caliente Clippers/Colorado
||San Antonio, TX
|Juwan Morgan||F||6-7||232||24||Maine Celtics/Indiana
||F||6-7||215||24||Grand Rapids Gold/Chattanooga
||Cortlandt Manor, NY|
|David Stockton||G||5-11||165||30||Memphis Hustle/Gonzaga||Spokane, WA|
|Rayjon Tucker||G||6-3||209||24||Wisconsin Herd/Little Rock
|Paul Watson||F||6-6||210||27||Free Agent/Fresno State||Phoenix, AZ|
|Justin Wright-Foreman||G||6-2||190||24||Birmingham Squadron/Hofstra||New York, NY|
|Head Coach: Jim Boylen|
|Assistant Coach: Ty Ellis|
|Assistant Coach: Othella Harrington|
|Team Physician: Stephen Foley, Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, SD)|
|Athletic Trainer: Ed Lacerte, ProSports Therapy, Inc. (Waltham and Westford, MA)|
|Team Scout: Brandon Bailey|
|Video Coordinator: Cole Miller|
FEBRUARY 2022 USA MEN'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Jphnson||2/2||13- 24||.542||2- 10||.200||4- 6||.667||8/ 4.0||32/ 16.0||8||0||0|
|Ryan||2/0||9- 18||.500||9- 18||.500||0- 1||.000||6/ 3.0||27/ 13.5||0||0||0|
|Wright-Foreman||2/0||8- 13||.615||5- 9||.556||2- 2||1.000||4/ 2.0||23/ 11.5||3||0||0|
|Galloway||2/2||7- 14||.500||4- 11||.364||4- 4||1.000||7/ 3.5||22/ 11.0||5||0||1|
|Stockton||2/2||7- 11||.636||5- 7||.714||2- 2||1.000||4/ 2.0||21/ 10.5||7||0||2|
|Bell||2/0||8- 12||.667||0- 1||.000||1- 2||.500||15/ 7.5||17/ 8.5||5||4||6|
|Harper||2/0||3- 15||.200||0- 7||.000||8- 9||.889||6/ 3.0||14/ 7.0||11||0||0|
|Morgan||2/1||3- 7||.429||2- 6||.333||4- 6||.667||9/ 4.5||12/ 6.0||3||0||2|
|Black||2/2||3- 6||.500||0- 0||.---||0- 2||.000||7/ 3.5||6/ 3.0||0||0||1|
|Tucker||2/0||0- 4||.000||0- 3||.000||4- 4||1.000||2/ 1.0||4/ 2.0||2||0||0|
|King||1/0||1- 4||.250||1- 4||.250||1- 2||.500||2/ 2.0||4/ 4.0||0-||0||1|
|Bowen II||2/1||0- 1||.000||0- 1||.000||0- 0||.---||0/ 0.0||0/ 0.0||0||1||0|
|USA||2||62-129||.481||28- 77||.364||30- 40||.750||78/39.0||182/91.0||44||5||13|
|OPP.||2||56-143||.392||12- 48||.250||10- 29||.655||81/40.5||143/71.5||32||3||9|