Weng’an, China – The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars started play in China with a tough 89-87 overtime loss to a solid team from Lithuania. Gintautas Matulis hit the deciding three-pointer with four seconds remaining. The Americans has a chance to tie the game by couldn’t get off a good shot in the closing seconds, Matulis led Lithuania with 19 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting from long distance. Brandon Hogg led the USA All-Stars with 20 points.
Hogg sent the game into overtime with a drive and lay-in with 4.8 seconds left in regulation. Rokas Uzas hit a tough three-pointer from the deep corner as time was expiring on the shot clock to give the Lithuanians a two-point lead before the game headed to overtime tied at 74. The Americans didn’t get their game legs in the first quarter as they started the contest shooting 1-of-16 and trailing 24-7. They starting playing better in the second quarter and trailed at the half 37-24.
The USA All-Stars played their game in the second half, outscoring Lithuania 50-37 to send the game to the extra stanza. Besides Hogg, who scored all 20 of his points in the second half, Devon White was solid battling the Lithuanian bigs and finished with 11 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in overtime. Bubu Palo also scored 11 as he drew seven fouls and made 9-of-12 free throws. Marcus Byrd was the other American in double-figures with 10 points on 2-of-4 three-pointers.
The Americans shot well after their terrible first quarter, ending the game shooting 48 percent on two pointers and 6-of-20 on three’s. They shot 6-of-12 on three’s after the first quarter. The smaller USA team had a +1 advantage on the glass but were out-rebounded by four off the offensive glass. The difference in the game was Matulis’s perfect shooting from long-distance. Lithuania was 15-of-36 (42%) overall from beyond the arc, but only 10-of-31 without Matulis’s 5-of-5. The USA utilized a close pressure defense to get back into the game, ending the contest with 20 steals as Hogg (5 steals) and Palo (4 steals) hounded Lithuania’s guards.
The games here in Weng’an are broken up into a late afternoon and night doubleheader with two separate admissions. The USA-Lithuania game was played before 3,408 fans but the nightcap between China and Italy had an SRO crowd of 4,719. China defeated Italy in that contest 78-68. The USA All-Stars will play Italy today in the early game at 4pm local time.
Prince Obasi (Seattle/Colombia) 0 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Bubu Palo (Iowa State/NBADL) 11 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds. 4 steals
Antonio Robinson (East Carolina/England) 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Greg Howard (West Liberty/Mexico) 7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Brandon Hogg (Southern Indiana/England) 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals
Preston Ross (Western Carolina/Germany) 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Anthony Young (Kentucky Wesleyan/Argentina) 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Caleb Sutton (Judson/Lithuania) 9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal
Marcus Byrd (Denver) 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist
Devin White (Northwestern State/Germany) 11 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
Reggis Onwukamuche (Prairie View A&M/Mongolia) 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
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