The USA team was limited to eight players as Robert Thurman (elbow) and Jeff Powers (illness) were unable to play. The rest of the team picked up the slack and the smaller USA squad battled on the boards against the much taller Ukrainians. Ukraine had a +8 rebounding advantage but the numbers were even after three quarters when the game was decided.
Jamal Wilson led the USA in scoring with 27 points, hitting 10-of-15 shots overall including 4-of-7 three-pointers. Wilson also led the Americans with ten rebounds. The USA’s help defense was outstanding coming up with 19 steals and forcing 19 Ukrainian turnovers. Keion Bell and Dominic Cheek each came up with six steals. Bell (18 points), Sam Coleman (10) and Nate Rohnert (10) also scored in double-figures. Bell shot a perfect 8-of-8 on two-pointers, including three dunks and made both his free throw attempts, extending his consecutive string to 20.
Coleman was solid defensively inside, was active and came up with four steals. Cheek had his six steals in only 13 minutes of floor time and had an excellent stretch of play in the first half. The USA shot 61 percent on two-point attempts, were 6-of-19 (31.5 percent) on three-pointers and made all their 12 free throw attempts. Ukraine was held to 8-of-26 (30.7 percent) on three-pointers. The main difference statistically was the USA’s 19-5 edge in steals and having five fewer turnovers than Ukraine.
USA Head Coach Rod Jensen: “Our guys stepped up tonight and battled inside against a much taller opponent. We competed very well, especially through the first three quarters. We are improving on both sides of the ball and I am anxious to see how much we’ve improved as we get to face China again tomorrow.”
In the first game tonight Lithuania (2-4) defeated China (1-4) in double-overtime 85-78. Lithuania won despite five of their players fouling out and having a total of 39 fouls called against them (a 14 foul disparity). China had 20 more free throw attempts than the Lithuanians (47-27). China missed three free throw attempts in the final seconds of regulation, either of which would have won the game for them. They also shot only 2-of-28 (7 percent) from long distance.
The records for the tournament are: USA (4-1), Ukraine (3-2), Lithuania (2-4) and China (1-4).
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars
Nate Rohnert (Denver) 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Jay-R Strowbridge (Oregon) 4 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Keion Bell (Pepperdine/Missouri)18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 steals
Jamal Wilson (Rhode Island) 27 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist
Markeith Cummings (Kennesaw State) 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Dominic Cheek (Villanova) 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 steals
Josh Clyburn (Queens)2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Sam Coleman (Coppin State)10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals
Robert Thurman (California) DNP – Injured
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