Weng’an, China – The NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars won a hard fought contest over Italy 86-84 for their first win of the China tour. After taking a ten-point lead the Americans held off a fourth quarter Italian charge for the victory. The Americans won despite limited action from center Devin White and Greg Howard who both battled foul trouble and eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter. Brandon Hogg led the USA All-Stars for the second straight game with 18 points. 6-9 Alexander Fomin led Italy with 19 points.
Once again the USA All-Stars got off to a slow start as they were down 18-11 at the end of the first quarter. A 27-point second quarter put the Americans up at the half 38-33. They extended the lead to 60-51 after three quarters and brought the lead to 12 before the Italians mounted a comeback. Two key three-pointers from John Brisco (18 points) ultimately gave the Italians a one-point lead. Several key plays down the stretch from Antonio Robinson and Preston Ross helped the USA to an 86-82 lead before Italy’s Paris Bass (13 points) hit a corner jumper at the closing horn to bring the margin of victory to two points.
The USA All-Stars gave a great effort on the boards, out-rebounding the much taller Italians by eight including a +4 advantage on the offensive boards. This was despite limited time from starting center White, and the necessity of going to a small ball lineup at times. After a first quarter where the American depended too much on three pointers and shooting 0-of-6 from that distance, they started taking the ball to the hoop, scoring in close and drawing fouls. The USA ended the game shooting 61 percent on two-point attempts and only 13 percent (2-of-15) from long distance. The advantage the Americans have in this competition are the quickness of their guards and their athleticism.
Hogg shot 5-of-6 on two-point attempts, drew seven fouls on penetration and made 8-of-11 free throws. Bubu Palo also shot 5-of-6 on two -pointers, drew eight fouls, led the team with five assists and tied for the team lead in rebounds with five. 6-7 Anthony Young (14 points) had to battle the Italian bigs at times, also grabbed five boards and hit the USA’s only two made three-pointers. Preston Ross (12 points) came up big late in the contest, drew four fouls and connected on 6-of-7 late free throws. All the American guards (Hogg, Palo, Robinson and Prince Obasi) played strong defense and pressured the Italian guards throughout the game. Caleb Sutton (6 points, 5 rebounds) played with great energy and Reggis Onwukamuche played well in extended minutes.
Lithuania went to 2-0 on the tour with a 79-73 win over China in the night game. They will play Italy (0-2) in the afternoon game today while the USA (1-1) and China (1-1) will battle before an SRO crowd in the night contest.
Prince Obasi (Seattle/Colombia) 2 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds
Bubu Palo (Iowa State/NBADL) 15 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds. 1 steal
Antonio Robinson (East Carolina/England) 8 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Greg Howard (West Liberty/Mexico) 4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists
Brandon Hogg (Southern Indiana/England) 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Preston Ross (Western Carolina/Germany) 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Anthony Young (Kentucky Wesleyan/Argentina) 14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist
Caleb Sutton (Judson/Lithuania) 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
Marcus Byrd (Denver) 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Devin White (Northwestern State/Germany) 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
Reggis Onwukamuche (Prairie View A&M/Mongolia) 1 point, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
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