Jiangyin, China – The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars outscored Lithuania (1-4) 43-25 in the second half to run away with a 82-65 win before 2,926 fans at the South City Arena in Jiangyin. The Americans move to 3-1 on the tour.
Keion Bell, who was named as the MVP of the Tianjin tournament earlier today, continued his outstanding play leading the USA with 27 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and making all ten of his foul shots. Bell has now made his last 18 free throw attempts. He also grabbed four rebounds, had three assists and came up with five steals. No team has been able to defend Bell one-on-one in this event and the Lithuanians were no different. Bell drew nine Lithuanian fouls tonight. Point guard Nate Rohnert registered a triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as he continually pushed the pace and found his teammates in transition. Rohnert also had four steals. Jamal Wilson (12) and Jay-R Strowbridge (12) also scored in double-figures.
The Americans played without their only true big, Robert Thurman who suffered an elbow injury and could not play. Sam Coleman (9 points, 7 rebounds) and Josh Clyburn (4 points, 5 rebounds) picked up some of the slack inside. Both played their best games of the trip. Thurman is listed day-to-day.
The USA shot 67 percent on two-point attempts while only connecting on 1-of-12 shots from long distance. Wilson (6-of-7), Rohnert (5-of-7), Strowbridge (6-of-8) and Bell were particularly effective. The USA had a +2 advantage on the boards and only committed eight turnovers in the final three quarters after committing eight in the first quarter alone. The USA was aided by poor shooting by Lithuania as they connected on only 6-of-22 three-pointers and missed 12 free throws. Lithuania was also pressured into 22 turnovers by an effective USA defense.
USA Head Coach Rod Jensen: “We played an excellent second half and the guys raised their game with the absence of Thurman. Our defense really picked up late in the game as we scored well off turnovers. We just really competed well in the second half.”
The USA will face a strong and large Ukrainian team tomorrow night. Ukraine defeated China (1-3) in overtime 87-77 to also go to 3-1 on the tour. 6’5 Maxim Lukyanov scored 20 to lead the winners. The teams combined for 53 total turnovers. There were 62 fouls called (35 on Ukraine) and 75 foul shots were attempted. The USA will have to find a way to compete against a much taller Ukrainian team which has five players between 6’9 and 7’1.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars
Nate Rohnert (Denver) 11 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals
Jay-R Strowbridge (Oregon) 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Keion Bell (Pepperdine/Missouri) 27 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals
Jamal Wilson (Rhode Island) 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Markeith Cummings (Kennesaw State) 3 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Dominic Cheek (Villanova) 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
Jeff Powers (California) 2 points, 2 rebounds
Josh Clyburn (Queens) 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Sam Coleman (Coppin State) 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Robert Thurman (California) DNP – Injured
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