Wuhu, China – Ukraine handed the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars their third straight loss as they defeated a short-handed American team 76-68 in Wuhu. Ukraine advanced to first place on the tour at 5-3, Lithuania defeated China earlier 79-56 to go to 5-4, the USA is 4-4 while China is 2-6. Ukraine faces Lithuania tonight for the Four Nations tournament championship. The best the USA can do with a win over China is second place.
Ukraine scored the first 12 points of the game and raced out to an 18-3 lead. The USA pulled to within 26-20 at the close of the first period and tied the game at 35 before Ukraine took a 39-35 halftime lead. The USA tied the game at 47 in the third quarter before Ukraine pulled away in the final stanza to secure the win. The USA played without point guard Nate Rohnert (pulled groin muscle) and Jeff Powers (illness). They then lost guard Jamal Wilson to a sprained ankle reducing the team to seven healthy players. The USA battled the much taller Ukrainians on the boards ( Ukraine +4) but the USA did not shoot well enough to win for the second straight night. The USA shot 40 percent overall while Ukraine used their height to score near the basket as they shot 64 percent on two-point attempts. The USA closed out pretty well on Ukraine’ 3-point attempts limited them to 6-of-23 shooting.
Markieth Cummings had his second straight solid game for the USA tonight leading the team with 27 points on 5-of-8 shooting from downtown. Keion Bell (10) was the only other American in double-figures.
USA Head Coach Rod Jensen: “Our effort was much better tonight than last night. Our injuries really hurt us tonight as the bigger Ukraine team just wore us down. We plan on coming back tomorrow night and finishing the tour strongly against China. It would be nice to end the trip with a win. It’s a long trip home.”
Lithuania played an excellent game in defeating China 79-56 behind 22 points from 6’8″ Mantas Verbalas. Verbalas shot 9-of-11 from the field and made all 4 of his free throws.
Nate Rohnert (Denver) DNP – Injury
Jay-R Strowbridge (Oregon) 9 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists
Keion Bell (Pepperdine/Missouri)10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Jamal Wilson (Rhode Island) 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block – injured
Markeith Cummings (Kennesaw State) 27 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Dominic Cheek (Villanova) 3 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jeff Powers (California) DNP – Illness
Josh Clyburn (Queens) 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block
Sam Coleman (Coppin State) 4 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here. We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume.