July 2, 2009
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Washington State University's DeAngelo Casto scored six points and Klay Thompson added four points as the United States defeatd France, 71-55, Friday morning NZDT (Thursday afternoon PDT) in Group B action of the FIBA U19 World Championship.
Casto (Spokane, Wash.) continued his hot shooting as he went 2-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds and an assist to his six points. Casto is 7-for-9 from the field in the U.S.'s two games in the World Championship. Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) scored four points, grabbed four boards and dished out two assists in 18:54 of action.
The United States (2-0) was led by Duke guard Seth Curry with 12 points. Butler's Gordon Hayward added 11 points and Ashton Gibbs of Pittsburgh chipped in 10 points. Arnett Moultrie of UTEP led the USA on the boards with eight rebounds and four points.
Alexis Tanghe led France (1-1) with 16 points and five rebounds. Andrew Albicy added 15 points and eight rebounds for the French.
Unlike the first game with Iran, the USA burst out of the blocks against France with nine points in the first 1:45, taking an early 9-2 lead. Defense took over for the rest of the half, with USA leading 19-10 after the first 10 minutes and 35-20 at halftime. The U.S. shot 41 percent from the field for the half, while holding France to 29 percent from the field.
Starting the second half like they did the game, the U.S., behind five points from Hayward, posted the first seven points of the third quarter and expanded its lead to 22, 42-20. Following Curry's third 3-pointer of the game, the U.S. lead reached a 25-point lead, 52-27 with 4:21 left in the third quarter.
France outscored the USA, 18-14, in the final quarter and with 2:12 remaining in the game had reduced the U.S. advantage to 14 (68-54). But that was as close as they got, as the U.S. held on for the win.
The Americans are assured of moving on to the second round, as they face Egypt at 11 a.m. Saturday (NZDT) (4 p.m. Friday PDT) in their final Group B game. Incoming freshman Brock Motum and Australia take on Spain at 10 p.m. PDT Thursday.