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Cade Cunningham

USA U19 Men Sprint Past Latvia 116-66

  • Date:
    Jul 3, 2019

Six players scored in double digits as the USA U19 Men’s World Cup Team (4-0) dismantled Latvia (0-4) 116-66 in the FIBA U19 World Cup for Men round of 16 on Wednesday afternoon in Heraklion, Greece.

The U.S. will meet Russia (3-1) in the medal round quarterfinals on July 5 (Time TBA). Russia defeated China (1-3) 96-83 in their round of 16 clash Wednesday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

"We didn’t want number seven (Arturs Kurucs) to score the ball," said 6-foot-8 USA forward Scottie Barnes. "We wanted to switch everything off the back screens. We really just wanted to shut them down . Once we shut #7 down we knew we would be in a great position to win the game."

The USA never trailed in the contest and put the game away early.

Jumping out to an 8-2 with the game less than two minutes old, and the USA led 30-15 at the close of the first quarter, then expanded the advantage to 59-31 at halftime.

The rout continued in the second half, as the USA lead grew to 83-32 with 4:14 left on the third quarter clock. By the end of the third period the Americans led 95-38 and eased up in the fourth for the 116-66 victory. 

"The Canadian coach said Latvia plays pretty basketball, and we couldn’t let them play pretty basketball," said USA mentor Bruce Weber.  "We wanted to disrupt them. We did a lot of switching which took them out of their stuff and then used our athleticism and depth. I told them the first five minutes they’ve got to feel us.

Trevion Williams (Purdue/Chicago, Ill.) posted a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds and Cade Cunningham (Montverde Academy, Fla./Arlington, Texas) tallied 11 points and 10 assists to lead the USA’s winning effort.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG Academy, Fla./Overland Park, Kan.), who shot 7-of-9 from the field, also scored a game-high 17 points. Scottie Barnes (University School/West Palm Beach, Fla.) contributed 16 points, five rebounds and four assists; Ziaire Williams (Notre Dame H.S./Sherman Oaks, Calif.) notched 12 points; and Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama/Meridianville, Ala.) chipped in 10 points to round out the USA’s double-digit scorers.

"It was a quick turn-round for us, less than 24 hours, but it was even less for them," added Weber.  "So, we thought if we kind of smacked them right away we could break their spirit and I thought that happened. We’ve been charting a play hard chart showing like deflections, loose balls, we had 58, so we were very active on defense. And then the other thing, we had 35 assists. We’re very, very balanced, I think we had six in double figures, a couple of guys with nine, Cade (Cunningham) had 10 assists, so we had a lot of good things.

"The thing I was most proud of was they played the right way. They acted the right way and they played the right way even with the big lead which sometimes you don’t do that, it’s human nature not to do that. I’m proud that they did it. 

Outrebounding Latvia 56-36, the USA also nabbed 19 steals to Latvia’s six and converted 27 Latvian turnovers into 39 points. The Americans outscored the Europeans 34-7 points in transition, 56-24 points in the paint and 67-44 points off the bench.

 

The U.S. defense frustrated Latvia all day, limiting their opponents to cool 34.8 percent shooting from the floor, and just 9-of-27 from 3-point.

"They’re a good team, we just kind of took them out of their stuff. If you look how many 3s they shoot, it’s over half their shots and at halftime we had only let them take nine 3s which really gets them out of what they do. I thought our defense was really good. I think they were really locked in.

 

"Obviously we have three more (games) to go but it was a nice game where everyone gets to play. We’re going to get 48 hours of rest now, and then get ready for a big stretch run," said Weber.  

Mali (3-1) advanced to the U19 medal quarterfinal round for the first time in history with a 77-62 win over New Zealand (2-2). In the day's other quarterfinal matches, Argentina (3-0) goes up against Puerto Rico (0-3), Lithuania (2-1) takes on Australia (2-1), Philippines (0-3) plays Serbia (2-1), Senegal (0-3) faces Canada (2-1), and host Greece (1-2) meets France (2-1) in the final game of the day.  

Semifinals action will be played on July 6, and the U19 gold and bronze medal games are scheduled to be held July 7.

 

The USA’s assistant coaches areMike Hopkins (Washington) and LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central).

 

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