USA U19 Men Rout Lithuania 102-67 to Reach Gold Medal Game
A 15-0 run early in the third quarter was a turning point for the USA Men’s U19 Team (6-0) in a 102-67 semifinal win over Lithuania (3-3) at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup on Saturday in Heraklion, Greece.
"We talked about having great energy from the start," said USA head coach Bruce Weber (Kansas State). "I thought our defense was good and kind of set the tone for the whole first half. We held them to 32 (points) in the half and they’re a very good offensive team.
Jalen Green (Prolific Prep/Fresno, Calif.) finished with 18 points and six rebounds; Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.) added 15 points and six steals; Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG Academy, Fla./Overland Park, Kan.) contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds; Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama/Merdianville, Ala.) was 4-of-4 from the field on his way to 11 points; and Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State/Arlington, Texas) added 11 points. Additionally, Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State/Oshkosh, Wis.) tallied seven of the USA’s 23 assists, and
Never trailing in the game, the USA built a 25-14 lead in the first quarter, taking advantage of its 17-8 tally on the boards. Robinson-Earl had seven points in the first quarter.
In the second period, Lithuania cut the U.S. lead to five points, 26-21 at 7:40, but the USA pushed back with eight unanswered points from four different players and led by as many as 16 points, 39-23 with 3:33 on the clock. From there Lithuania scored nine and the USA scored five points, and the Americans led 44-32 at halftime.
Ten of the USA’s 12 team members had scored by halftime, and the USA had a 31-15 rebounding lead and had forced 12 Lithuanian turnovers.
Both teams scored to start the third quarter, but then the USA, behind 10 points from Suggs, took over with a 15-0 stretch and led 61-35 after a Green 3-pointer at 6:00. Lithuania went on an 8-0 run of its own to reduce the gap to 65-46, but the USA closed the third period with a 10-2 run to take a 75-48 lead into the fourth quarter. Overall, the USA outscored Lithuania 31-16 in the third quarter.
In the final period, the USA outscored Lithuania 27-19 to earn the 102-67 win.
The USA finished the game shooting 45.1% from the field (41-91), and made a tournament-high 12 3-pointers. Holding Lithuania to 36.4% (24-66) shooting from the field and 10-of-32 from 3-point,, and won the rebounding battle 57-38. It also was impressive in turning Lithuania’s 22 turnovers into 28 points, as well as recording 50 points in the paint and 54 points off of the bench.
The USA twice beat Lithuania in 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup action, including a 102-84 preliminary round win on June 30.
The USA’s assistant coaches are