USA Men Defeat Dominican Republic 133-74, Improve to 2-0 at FIBA Americas U16 Championship
Utilizing its superior depth and featuring a balanced scoring attack that saw nine players score seven or more points, the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team (2-0) rolled to a record-setting 133-74 victory over Dominican Republic (1-1 in FIBA Americas U16 Championship action on Tuesday afternoon in Xalapa, Mexico The USA’s 133 points broke the previous USA men’s U16 single-game scoring record of 130 points that was set in 2013 against Mexico.
The win, which kept the USA’s all-time record in FIBA Americas U16 play a perfect 33-0, assures the USA of the Group B No. 1 seed for the Aug. 27 quarterfinals match-up versus the No. 4 seed from Group A.
(Oak Hill Academy, Va./Plano, Texas) recorded 14 points and 10 rebounds, Ian Jackson (Cardinal Hayes H.S./Bronx, N.Y.) added 13 points and Kylan Boswell (Arizona Compass H.S./Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) rounded out the USA’s double-figure scorers with 10 points.(Duncanville H.S./Dallas, Texas), who played 14:55 before being disqualified for two technical fouls, and (Mount St. Joseph H.S./Bowie, Md.), paced the USA’s high-octane offense with 22 points each. (Combine Academy/Hickory, N.C.) added 19 points and six assists,
“As a team, I feel like we moved the ball really well, and I feel like in the second half that was when our defense really increased,” said USA forward Tucker.
“Our depth as a team impacts the game a lot, because I feel like other countries don’t have as good of a five off the bench that’s coming in with our five. So, our bench is usually outscoring their bench,” added Tucker on the USA bench outscoring the Dominican Republic’s bench by 41 points, 71-30.
“I thought we were really erratic defensively in the first half. Once we settled down and we started playing better half-court defense and stopped giving up so many layups and stopped making so many cheap fouls, I think it was a turn to the way we want to play from here on out. Just being really solid defensively, communicating, rotating, and just doing our responsibilities,” said(Pace Academy, Ga.), USA U16 National Team head coach.
In a choppy, foul-heavy first half that saw 24 fouls whistled and the two teams shoot a combined 26 free throws, the Americans slipped out to an early 16-10 lead, only to see the Dominicans rally back to even the score 21-all with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter.
Getting points from four different players,drained a 3-pointer from just inside half court at the buzzer to push the U.S. lead to 32-22 after one quarter.
“We got off to a slow start and with all the fouls called early, for us to be able to push ahead and put them in a situation where they had to respond to a run was very key for us,” said White. “That was one of our objectives going into the game, put them into a situation where they had to be able to catch up to us, or match our intensity, or match our ability to score the basketball.”
Outscoring Dominican Republic 37-22 in the second quarter, the USA blew the game wide-open and headed to the locker room at halftime leading 69-44.
The USA opened the second half in full stride and outscored Dominican Republic 29-18 to take a 98-62 lead into the final period.
Dillingham’s reverse layup with 1:19 left in the game made the score 131-74 and broke the USA’s previous single-game scoring record.
“I thought we really got some great efforts from some key guys off the bench when we did make our run,” noted White. “Having a deep bench is our measuring stick. Coach (Don) Showalter (longtime USA Basketball Junior National Team head coach) has said this several times, it’s not the first five guys, because any country can put out a good starting five, but it’s the next seven guys where we distance ourselves, because we’re bringing off the bench quality players that can play at a high level and it really puts us in a great advantage.”
Recording 62 fast break points, the U.S. scored 29 points off of the 26 Dominican Republic turnovers.
The Americans recorded 34 assists, one shy of equaling the U.S. single-game mark, with Jaylen Curry (Vance H.S./Charlotte, N.C.) recording a game-high nine.
The USA will conclude preliminary play against Chile (0-2) on Aug. 25. (12:30 p.m. EDT). All games are being streamed live on the FIBA YouTube channel. After finishing preliminary round games, all eight teams advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 27. The quarterfinal winners play in the semifinals on Aug. 28. On Aug. 29, the semifinal winners meet in the gold medal game, while the semifinal losers play in the bronze medal game.
The top four finishing teams at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify for the 2022 FIBA Men’s U17 World Cup.
Assisting White with the 2021 USA U16 National Team are assistant coaches(St. Edward H.S., Ohio) and (Gonzaga College H.S., D.C.).
A biennial event launched in 2009 and open to athletes 16 years old or younger, the FIBA Americas U16 Championship features eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The USA Basketball men have won the gold medal in all six editions of the tournament since its debut in 2009.