Tuesday July 2, 2013Donovan-led U.S. team defeats Australia, remains unbeaten at U19 World Championships
Updated: 7:26pm, July 2
Updated: 7:26pm, July 2
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Billy Donovan-led U.S. team competing in the FIBA U19 World Championships is winning a lot like Donovan's Florida teams do.
By playing excellent defense.
The U.S. throttled its fifth consecutive opponent on Tuesday, defeating Australia 94-51 in Prague. The Americans limited Australia to 32.8 percent shooting and broke the game open by outscoring Australia 31-8 in the second quarter.
"Our guys came out with a lot more energy [than in Monday's 91-66 win over Brazil]," Donovan told USA Basketball. "Certainly the difference in the game was our defense. We forced 18 turnovers in the first half. I thought we did a good job of guarding them from behind the 3-point line; we didn’t give up a lot of 3s. In the second half I thought we came out to another good start. This was a little bit more of a complete game for us."
Five players scored in double figures for the U.S., led by Aaron Gordon's 15 points. Gordon is an Arizona commit.
Gators sophomore guard Michael Frazier scored five points, added two rebounds and one assist off the bench. Frazier played 12 minutes and hit 2 of 5 shots, including 1-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Tuesday's game was tied at 9 early until the U.S. blew it open with defensive pressure. Frazier told USA Basketball the team's defense has been its best weapon in the tournament.
"We have a target on our backs so these teams are going to give us their best shot coming out,'' Frazier said Tuesday. "So we’ve got to keep the pedal to the medal and keep our defensive pressure up and hopefully wear teams out."
Up next for the U.S. team is Serbia, which also improved to 5-0 on Tuesday with a victory over China.
Donovan expects Wednesday's matchup to be his team's most difficult in the tournament thus far.
"I think clearly they are one of the better teams here and I think our guys understand and realize this is going to be a great challenge for our team,'' Donovan said. "We know we have a lot to get prepared for and we’re going against a team that has been together for awhile, plays really well together, really good defensively and really puts you into a lot of binds defensively."
Click here for the box score from the U.S.'s 94-51 win over Australia on Tuesday.
Click here for quotes from the game.
Click here for video from the game.
Click here for a photo gallery from the game.