Yueyang, China – Bubu Palo scored 27 points and dished out six assists as the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars (5-2) topped Lithuania (5-2) 82-70 last night in Yueyang. It was the first action in the new 9,688 seat Yueyang Sports Arena and the first victory for the Americans against Lithuania on the tour. Preston Ross contributed 14 points and a tour-high eight steals in the American victory. Tadas Rinkunas, Arvydas Udras and Edvinas Jezukevicius all scored 13 points to lead Lithuania.
After a even first quarter he USA All-Stars took control of the game with a 22-13 second quarter advantage to take a 41-32 lead into the halftime break. Lithuania closed the lead to three points on two occasions in the third and fourth quarter but both times Palo had the answer with a drive and basket. Palo generated eight foul calls against the Lithuanians as he used his quickness to continually get past the Lithuanian defenders.
Antonio Robinson added six rebounds from his guard spot, Ross was active throughout the game and had his best effort of the tour, Marcus Byrd (12 points) added two three-pointers and Anthony Young (8 points) added several key baskets. Centers Devin White and Reggis Onwukamuche combined to grab 17 rebounds. Starting guard Brandon Hogg pulled his groin slightly and was limited to three second-half minutes and point guard Prime Obasi sat out the contest with a groin injury.
In addition to Palo and Ross’s strong efforts, the difference in this game was the USA’s pressure defense. They forced Lithuania into 20 turnovers (compared to ten for the USA). The USA also came up with 16 steals against only three for Lithuania. Lithuania had a +7 advantage on the boards but took 36 three-pointers (they made 11) and only 30 two-point shots (making 12). The USA All-Stars shot 49 percent on two-point attempts and only 22 percent (4-of-18) from long-distance. The Americans only made 61 percent of their free throws (4-of-23) while Lithuania hit them at a 93 percent clip (13-of-14).
China (3-4) beat Italy (1-6) 83-81 in the opening game. The USA All-Stars will face Italy tonight in the nightcap while China takes on Lithuania in the opener.
Prince Obasi (Seattle/Colombia) DNP – Injury
Bubu Palo (Iowa State/NBADL) 27 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Antonio Robinson (East Carolina/England) 4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Greg Howard (West Liberty/Mexico) 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Brandon Hogg (Southern Indiana/England) 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Preston Ross (Western Carolina/Germany) 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 8 steals
Anthony Young (Kentucky Wesleyan/Argentina) 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Caleb Sutton (Judson/Lithuania) 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Marcus Byrd (Denver) 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Devin White (Northwestern State/Germany) 3 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Reggis Onwukamuche (Prairie View A&M/Mongolia) 3 points, 7 rebounds. 1 steal, 1 block
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