July 6, 2009
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Both the United States and Australia, featuring Washington State University men's basketball team members, remained undefeated as Australia (4-0) defeated Kazakhstan (1-3), 87-54, and the U.S. (4-0) defeated Greece (2-2), 85-69, Monday NZDT, at the FIBA U19 World Championship.
Australia, playing in Group F, is tied with Croatia at 4-0 for the lead in the group. Croatia, which originally competed in Group D, defeated Canada, 83-77 on Monday. The USA holds the top spot in Group E, followed by Lithuania and Puerto Rico in second at 3-1.
Incoming WSU freshman Brock Motum (Brisbane, Australia) continued to lead his Australian squad with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists in just 14:25 of the win. Motum finished the day 7-for-11 from the field and made his only 3-point attempt. Four of his five rebounds came on the offensive end. Motum leads his team and ranks 12th in the World Championship with 16.5 points per game (66 total points). The 6-foot-9 forward is 30-for-47 from the field for a .638 field goal percentage. Motum is averaging just 20.8 minutes per game, while no one else in the top-20 in scoring has played less than 26.5 minutes per game.
Motum's Australian team held Kazakhstan to just nine points in the first quarter of play, holding a 22-9 lead. Motum once again came off the bench for the Aussies, making his first appearance at the 4:18 mark in the first quarter. He made an immediate impact with a field goal and an assist in his first minute and a half in the game. At the half, Australia led by 21 points, 43-22.
Motum did not play in the second quarter, but entered the game with less than a minute off the clock in the third quarter. Again he made an immediate impact with his 3-pointer nearly 20 seconds after entering the game. Motum scored 13 of his 17 points in the third period of action, as the Australians took a 30-point, 70-40, lead. He scored two points in four minutes in the final quarter, as Australia defeated Kazakhstan, 87-54.
Jason Cadee also scored 17 points for Australia, adding three assists and four steals. Matthew Hodgson added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
In the United States' win, WSU rising-sophomores DeAngelo Casto (Spokane, Wash.) and Klay Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) scored six and three points, respectively. Casto started the game and shot 2-for-3 from the field in 14 minutes of action. The 6-8 forward added five rebounds, four of them on the offensive end. Thompson made his only field goal attempt and was one 1-for-2 from the free throw line for three points. The 6-6 guard also grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists in 11 minutes. Both Casto and Thompson got into foul trouble with four fouls apiece.
The USA got off to a slow start, holding just a one-point, 18-17 lead at the end of the first period. Greece started out strong in the second period, taking a five-point, 25-20, lead at the 8:26 mark. The two teams remained even for the next six minutes, tied 33 apiece with 2:21 to go. Thompson was instrumental at the end of the half for the U.S. as he dished out an assist to Ashton Gibbs for a 3-pointer at the 2:20 mark. He followed that with a steal and his lone field goal of the game as the U.S. took a five-point, 38-33 lead with just over a minute to go in the period. The U.S. held on for a five-point, 41-36, lead at halftime.
The Americans led by as many as 16 in the third quarter and held on for a 10-point, 63-53, heading into the fourth quarter. The United States took its largest lead of the game of 19 points with one second to go in the game, while Greece hit a last second 3-pointer to cut the final deficit to 16 points, 85-69.
Georgia forward Howard Thompkins led the USA with 22 points as he went 10-for-14 from the field. He was the only American in double figures. Duke guard Seth Curry led all rebounders with six boards, adding eight rebounds.
Australia returns to the court to take on Argentina (3-1) in Group F action, Tuesday, July 7 at 1:30 p.m. NZDT (Monday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m. PDT). The USA looks to hold the top spot in Group E as it faces Puerto Rico (3-1), Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. NZDT (12:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 7 PDT).