Wuhu, China – Lithuania outscored the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars 110-103 in the first game in the last stop of the nine-game China tour. The loss dropped the USA to a record of 4-3 in the Four Nations tournament. The USA is tied with Ukraine, who beat China by 15 tonight in the first game. The USA and an improving Ukraine squad will battle tonight for the tournament lead.
Lithuania had their way offensively tonight either beating the USA down court for transition baskets or by using good ball movement to find open three-point attempts. Lithuania shot 63 percent on two-point field goal attempts and were 11-of-25 (44 percent) on their three-pointers. The USA also shot well (53 percent on both two and three-point attempts) but missed ten of their 31 free throw tries. The USA just didn’t shoot quite well enough or defend well enough to pull off the victory. The USA had defeated the Lithuanians twice previously in the tournament, This was the third march between the teams
Markieth Cummings came alive for the USA tonight leading the team with 23 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown. Cummings also had six rebounds and team highs in assists (5) and steals (3). Keion Bell continued his strong play with 22 points while 6’10” Sam Coleman had his best game of the trip with 20 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Jamal Wilson (11) and Jay-R Strowbridge (10) also scored in double-figures for the Americans. 6’3 shooting guard Dovis Bickauskis led Lithuania with 23 points, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 on two-pointers and 3-of-4 from deep. The teams battled evenly on the boards (+1 advantage for Lithuania) while the Americans were only charged with 8 turnovers, 5 fewer than Lithuania. The USA had 9 more free throw attempts than their opponents.
USA Head Coach Rod Jensen: “We need to play with more effort ad urgency, especially on defense, to win against the quality competition on his tour. While we were able to score, at times our offensive execution and movement faltered. We need to step up our game and play as a team to finish this competition strongly.”
The records for the tournament are: USA (4-3), Ukraine (4-3), Lithuania (4-4) and China (2-5).
Nate Rohnert (Denver) 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Jay-R Strowbridge (Oregon) 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Keion Bell (Pepperdine/Missouri) 22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Jamal Wilson (Rhode Island) 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Markeith Cummings (Kennesaw State) 23 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Dominic Cheek (Villanova) DNP – Injury
Jeff Powers (California) 4 points, 1 rebound
Josh Clyburn (Queens) 6 points, 1 rebound
Sam Coleman (Coppin State) 20 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist
Robert Thurman (California) No stats – limited time – Injury
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