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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Team USA Dominates Senegal 103-58

Team USA rolled to a 103-58 victory over Senegal, finishing 5-0 in Group D of the FIBA World Championships. Chris Bosh led Team USA with 20 points and 10 rebounds, by far his best performance in the tournament. LeBron James scored 17 points in 18 minutes and Carmelo Anthony had 12 points--all of them coming on three pointers--in 14 minutes. Joe Johnson (11 points) was the only other U.S. double figure scorer. Maleye N'Doye topped Senegal with 25 points.

Since Team USA had already clinched first place in Group D--and because Senegal had a "perfect" 0-4 record coming into this contest--Coach Mike Krzyzewski elected to have leading scorer Dwyane Wade sit out the game to rest for the next round and he went with a starting lineup of Brad Miller, Antawn Jamison, LeBron James, Joe Johnson and Kirk Hinrich. Team USA again got off to a slow start, trailing 4-0 nearly two minutes into the game. Johnson hit two free throws at the 7:43 mark to cut the lead to 6-2. The U.S. missed its first seven field goal attempts, a streak ended by James' fast break dunk with 6:54 remaining. On the next possession James made a nice feed to Jamison, whose layup tied the game at 6.

For the next few minutes the teams traded baskets. James' follow up jam gave the U.S. its first lead at 12-10 but Makhtar N'Diaye countered with a three pointer to put Senegal ahead 13-12. Apparently, that was the wakeup call for Team USA, because the U.S. then went on a 21-2 run to put the game out of reach. The U.S. led 26-13 after the first quarter, 58-24 at halftime and 81-40 at the end of the third quarter. Team USA outscored Senegal in each quarter, scoring at least 22 points in each period while holding Senegal to between 11 and 18 points.

The slow start against such a markedly inferior opponent was a bit odd, but after the midway point of the first quarter Team USA played a very solid game, resisting the temptation to go for too many highlight reel plays and never allowing Senegal to sustain any runs. Team USA's next game will be against Australia, the fourth place finisher in Group C. Australia's leading scorer is C.J. Bruton, followed closely by a name that is very familiar to NBA fans--Andrew Bogut. Australia beat Brazil and Qatar and lost to Greece, Lithuania and Turkey. They are fifth in three point field goal percentage, while Team USA ranks 22nd out of 24 teams in defensive three point field goal percentage.

posted by David Friedman @ 3:26 PM

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