Yunyang, China – After spending days traveling, the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars finally played their first game of their China tour, defeating a game team from Canada 86-71 before 3,121 excited fans in Yunyang. Point guard Diante Watkins led the Americans with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and five assists.
The USA got off to a poor start as they needed to find their legs after the long journey. Canada had a seven-point lead after the first quarter. The USA started playing better in the second quarter as they took a 40-39 lead into halftime. The Americans then took a 10-point lead in the third quarter before Canada cut the lead to one with 1:50 remaining in the quarter. Watkins then helped the USA pull away late with two of his seven steals. The Americans outscored the Canadians 22-10 in the fourth quarter for the 15-point victory.
Besides Watkins, key contributors for the USA included Thomas Bropleh (17 points on 3-of-6 3-point shooting) and Javier Carter (16 points with 3 blocks). 6’11 Will Artino (8 points, five rebounds) and 6’9 Julius Brooks (11 rebounds) battled inside. Mardracus Wade played great defense and Aaron Rountree made several key hustle plays including a tip-out that resulted in a three-pointer. Mikey Thompson was solid in his 20-minutes of action scoring eight points and hitting two three-pointers.
The USA All-Stars would have won the game much easier if they were able to hit their free throws. The Americans were a poor 14-of-27 from the foul stripe. Canada came off a 1-of-20 three-point shooting performance against China last night to shoot a solid 11-of-27 tonight helping to keep the game close. The teams battled evenly on the boards but the USA erased an early +7 Canadian rebounding advantage with some improved work in he last three quarters. The USA (1-0) will face China (2-0) tomorrow night for the championship in the Yunyang portion of the tournament.
Diante Watkins (Robert Morris/Germany) 21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals
Brandon Clark (Santa Clara) 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists
Mikey Thompson (Boise State) 8 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block
Aaron Rountree (Wake Forest/Iona) 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Thomas Bropleh (Boise State/NBA D-League) 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
James Crowder (Pfeiffer/Finland) 5 points, 1 rebound
Javier Carter (South Alabama/NBA D-League) 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals
Julius Brooks (Loyola-MD/Latvia) 2 points, 11 rebounds
Will Artino (Creighton/Estonia) 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Mardracus Wade (Arkansas/NBA D-League) 4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
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