We mentioned to the team before they left that they would get no breaks from the Chinese referees when we played China and that was certainly the case tonight. The Chinese National Team, helped by a huge free throw disparity, edged the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars 71-66.
China took a 37-31 halftime lead. The USA came back to close the margin to one at the close of the third quarter and then took a four-point lead with four minutes remaining after China Head Coach Bin Fan received two technical fouls and was thrown out of the game. The USA run was fueled by Devin Sweetney’s scoring, Oliver McNally’s passing along with Roger Franklin’s defense and rebounding. After that, China went to the free throw line on almost every possession and eventually came away with the win.
It was a very physical game on both ends of the court. China out-shot the USA All-Stars from the charity stripe by a 48-17 margin. China scored 20 more points from the free throw line than did the Americans. The USA shot only 6-of-24 on three-pointers against 7-of-12 for China. The USA had a strong defensive effort holding China to 22% shooting on two-pointers (9-of-40).
The USA team is playing very hard and have generally have adjusted nicely to the rough style of play going on. It’s impossible for the guards to get any spacing or rhythm because of the grabbing, holding and chucking everywhere on the court. This has limited the effectiveness of Derek Needham and the other point guards. Sweetney continued his high scoring as he led the game with 22 points, his third consecutive 20+ point outing. He also continued to make some big shots. Franklin, McNally and Derrick Rodgers have adapted to the style of play and are able to handle the physical play.
Jiangpeng Duan and Xiaochuan Zhai led China with 13 points each.
Jonathan Morse has shown an excellent feel for the game and intangibles while 7’0 Jason Conrad has been a little inconsistent but is solid.
All that said, the overall team attitude has remained solid and the team is trying. We’ve really stepped up our defensive physicality but we don’t have much room for error and have struggled to consistently score. We haven’t gotten many easy baskets. The Latvia game was a bad night, but the last two games have been good competition, unfortunately we have come up short.
“Such a fun crowd and atmosphere tonight. Our team competed and executed in the face of adversity. Couldn’t be more proud of the team’s effort and intensity. China is a skilled team and made plays down the stretch. Their aggressiveness got them to the free throw line but the free throw disparity was disappointing and did not help our chances to get our first win”
Derek Needham, PG (Fairfield) 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
Oliver McNally, G (Harvard, NBL Canada) 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Derrick Rodgers, PG (Portland) 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Mike Moore, G (Hofstra, Lithuania) 5 points, 2 rebounds
Robert Crawford, G/F (Central Arkansas) 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Mike Davis, C (Seton Hall, Romania) 4 points, 2 rebounds
Jonathan Morse, F (Metro State) 6 points, 2 rebounds
Devin Sweetney, G/F (St. Francis-PA, NBL Canada) 22 points, 2 rebounds
Roger Franklin, F/G (North Texas) 7 points, 2 rebounds
Jason Conrad, C/F (Chico State) 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal
Isaac Butts, C (Appalachian St., NBL Canada) 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
In the other game, Canada had no problem with Latvia, winning easily 82-40. The Canadians won the rebounding war 43-20 and held Latvia to 26% two-point shooting and 17.3% from long-distance (4-of-23). Dwight Powell led five Canadians in double-figures with 13 points. Owen Klassen registered a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Kyle Wiltjer, Thomas Scrubb, Laurent Rivard and Daniel Mullings sat this one out for Canada.
Kevin Pangos, G (Gonzaga) 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Brady Heslip, G (Baylor) 10 points, 1 rebounds, 1 assist
Kyle Wiltjer, F (Kentucky) DNP
Melvin Ejim, G (Iowa State) 11 points, 8 rebounds
Thomas Scrubb, F (Carleton) DNP
Mangisto Arop, G (Indiana State) 5 points, 5 rebounds
Laurent Rivard, G (Harvard) DNP
Philip Scrubb, G (Carleton) 8 points, 1 rebound
Dwight Powell, F (Stanford) 13 points, 8 rebounds
Jordan Bachynski, C (Arizona State) 7 points, 1 rebound, 2 blocks
Murphy Burnatowski, F (Colgate) 12 points, 3 rebounds
Owen Klassen, F (Carleton) 10 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assst
Daniel Mullings, G (New Mexico State) DNP
Grant Mullins, G (Columbia) 6 points, 3 rebounds
Canada (3-0) won the first group of games, followed by China (2-1), Latvia (1-2) and the USA (0-3)