Dazu, China – Dovis Bickauskis grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a fall-away 15-footer with 2.9 seconds left to give Lithuania (2-2) an 80-79 upset victory over the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars (2-1) in the first action in Dazu. The American had a last shot to win it but Javier Carter’s jumper from the corner was short. Bickauskas and Tadas Rinkunas led the winners with 18 points each. Julius Brooks led the USA with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including three dunks. This was the first international basketball event in Dazu and the crowd was listed at 4,031.
The USA got off to a slow start and trailed 12-6 midway in the first quarter. They then took a 19-17 lead at the end of the stanza. The teams were tied at 40 at the half. The third quarter belonged to the Americans as they outscored Lithuania 25-16 to take a nine-point lead. They extended their lead to 71-61 before Bickauskas and Rinkunas both hit three-pointers to bring Lithuania back. The USA took a 79-78 lead in the final minute on a jumper by Diante Watkins but in their next possession Watkins lost the ball penetrating to the basket giving Lithuania their final opportunity.
Lithuania was able to make the extra pass and find open shooters, particularly in the corner. The Americans did not close out well and the Lithuanians connected on 13-of-23 (57%) three-point attempts. Lithuania also rebounded the ball consistently ending the game with a +9 rebounding advantage. That advantage was partially offset by the Americans taking 13 more shots (and missing 11 more) than Lithuania. The Americans forced 30 Lithuania turnovers. The USA shot 50% on two-pointers and 33% (5-of-15) from long distance. The USA lost this game due to a lack of consistent effort. They started sluggishly and while they showed spurts of energy, in the end they couldn’t sustain that effort.
China (3-1) has no problem in defeating Canada (0-4) 80-67 in the first game. The USA All-Stars will look to get back on the winning track in the second game tonight against Canada.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars
Diante Watkins (Robert Morris/Germany) 15 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 4 steals
Brandon Clark (Santa Clara) 2 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists
Mikey Thompson (Boise State) 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
Aaron Rountree (Wake Forest/Iona) 1 point, 5 rebounds, 2 assist, 3 steals
Thomas Bropleh (Boise State/NBA D-League) 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
James Crowder (Pfeiffer/Finland) 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Javier Carter (South Alabama/NBA D-League) 12 points, 1 rebound, 2 blocks, 1 steal
Julius Brooks (Loyola-MD/Latvia) 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Will Artino (Creighton/Estonia) 1 point, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Mardracus Wade (Arkansas/NBA D-League) 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
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