DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United States held off a game Australian squad to earn a 99-92 win in the title game of 2014 FIBA Men’s U17 World Championship. It was the USA’s third straight crown in the tournament.
The USA used their frontcourt athleticism to dominate the boards (57-31 advantage) and stymie Australia’s 6’11 Isaac Humphries, one of the stars of the event. Humphries who had a 41-point, 19-rebound effort against Canada was limited to eight points and seven rebounds. He was charged with his third foul midway through the second quarter and sat out the remainder of the half.
Malik Newman paced the USA with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Jayson Tatum had 15 points and both Harry Giles and Josh Jackson scored 13 points.
Dejan Vasiljevic, one of the best youth shooters in the world, made six three-pointers in leading both teams in scoring with 29 points. 6’3 point guard Tom Wilson was also impressive with 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Wilson also made 5-of-10 three-pointers.
Australia scored 10 straight points to take an early 17-7 lead with Vasiljevic nailing back-to-back threes. Newman brought the USA back with his outside shooting to give the Americans a 28-27 lead after the first quarter.
The game was played in a wide open pace and the USA scored in transition or on offensive put-backs. The Americans has 26 offensive rebounds in the game. The USA was up 50-43 at halftime and pushed the lead to 13, at 65-52 early in the third quarter. Australia then cut the lead to five (68-63) but the USA pushed the lead to ten at the close of the third quarter and then to 15 (88-73) with five minutes to play.
The Aussies then scored nine straight points to cut the lead to six. The USA extended the lead to 10 points with 1:25 left. Three-pointers from Australia’s Kuoat Noi and Vasiljevic closed the gap to 96-91. Trailing by six, Australia’s Wilson was fouled on a three-pointer but missed his first two free throws which ended any hope for the Aussies.
In the third place game, Serbia topped Spain 62-59 behind 17 points from Nikola Rakisevic. Ramon Villa had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Spain. Spain had a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but had trouble connecting late in the game. Five straight points by 6’6 Vanka Marinkovic (14 points) gave the Serbians a lead they would not relinquish. Santiago Yusta scored 17 points for Spain. Spain shot only 2-of-20 on three-pointers.
Puerto Rico came back from an eight-point halftime deficit to top Canada 65-63 in the fifth-place game. Point guard Ivan Gandia (14 points) hit a jumper with 0.9 seconds left for the win. Jamal Murray scored 17 points to lead Canada.
In the other classification games: China topped France 87-78 to take 7th place as Jinqiu Hu had 25 points and eight rebounds. France’s Amine Noua was outstanding with 32 points and nine boards. Italy beat Argentina 66-62 for ninth place. Angola, behnd 14 points and 10 rebounds from Silvio de Sousa took 11th place over Greece 66-62. Egypt beat Japan 68-53 for 13th place and the Philippines escaped the cellar with a 115-51 win over host UAE.
Thanks to FIBA for the photos.
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