Emus fall to USA, play Russia to stay alive

Emus fall to USA, play Russia to stay alive

The Australian Emus U19 Men’s basketball team has a date with Russia tonight to keep their 2013 U19 World Championship alive, after they went down to the USA over night in their Classification match-up, succumbing 94-51.

Felix Von Hofe led the Aussie scorers with 17 points, while Dane Pineau and Michael Rowley both added 8 points each.

For the Americans, Aaron Gordan finished with 15 points, while Montrezl Harrel finished with 13 points and Jahlil Okafor finished with 12 points.

The Australians can take heart in the defeat, considering that Team USA has beaten all opponents by an average of 54 points. Their tournament is also still alive, but depends on their ability to overcome a desperate Russia tonight to advance through to the finals.

The Aussies hung tough for most of the first quarter of their match-up with Team USA — with four minutes to play, the scores were tied at 9-9, before the Americans went on a scoring assault, busting open a handy lead and taking the 24-12 advantage into quarter-time. The real damage, however, took place in the second period, with the Aussies held to just 8 points, the Americans piling on 31 points to take a disheartening 35-point lead into the change rooms.

The Aussies were much more competitive after the long break, particularly on the defense end, holding the Americans to 39 points for the half, including 17 in the final term. They were still unable to win a quarter however, America extending at every change to secure the 43-point win.

The Americans shot a blistering 52 per cent from the floor to Australia’s 32.8 per cent. Australia also coughed the ball up 23 times — 18 of those steals — while their opponent only registered 8 turnovers for the game in an impressive performance.

Australia must beat Russia tonight to advance beyond the Group stage into the finals. A win would see them finish fourth in Group F, a loss will relegate to the 9-12 Classification Round. Should the Aussies win and secure fourth place, they will register a berth in the Quarter Finals and most likely match up with the first-placed finisher from Group E.

The Australia V Russia match tips off at 4.15 AEST. Follow the game and all Aussie results at www.prague2013.fiba.com


Australian Emus 51 (Von Hofe 17, Pineau 8, Rowley 8) defeated by USA (Gordon 15, Harrel 13, Okafor 12)

Box Score