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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / August 17.
  • Huerter, Fultz Push USA Into U18 Semifinals

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    The 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team outscored Chile 20-10 in the fourth quarter to turn what had been a tightly contested game into a 70-50 win at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on Thursday night in Valdivia, Chile.

    Incoming Maryland freshman Kevin Huerter led the way with 14 points, including four 3-pointers during a second-quarter run, while incoming Washington freshman Markelle Fultz added 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots;

    Uncommitted Class of 2017 guard Matt Coleman added 10 points, six rebounds and six assists; and uncommitted 2017 big man Mohamed Bamba collected nine rebounds to go with his seven points.

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    As Group B’s No. 1 seed, the USA will take on Brazil (2-1), Group A’s No. 2 seed, at 8: 15 p.m. (EDT) on July 22. The other medal semifinal will include Canada (3-0) against Puerto Rico (2-1) at 6 p.m. (EDT).

    The semifinal winners will meet in the gold medal game on July 23, while the semifinal losers will play in the bronze medal game. All of the USA games will be live online at YouTube.com/FIBA.

    Additionally, as the top four finishing teams at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, the USA, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico all earned a berth into the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship (site and dates TBD).

    “First of all, Chile was extremely tough and aggressive tonight,” said USA U18 and University of Texas head coach Shaka Smart. “I thought they played great in front of their home crowd. They played with a lot passion early, and when we had defensive breakdowns, they made us pay by making shots. I thought our guys did a really good job in the second half of playing with more energy and more connectivity on the defensive end. We were able to force more stops.”

    In front of a packed house that was in support of the host nation, the USA held Chile to 26.2 percent from the field (17-65 FGs) and just four fastbreak points, while the U.S. offense tallied 26 points in transition and had 20 assists on 27 made baskets.

    “We definitely didn’t have our best game, but in front of a hostile crowd like that, they played really well.” said Huerter (Shenendehowa Central H.S./Clifton Park, N.Y.). “Their crowd really helped them. We faced adversity in the first half. We weren’t making shots. They were in the game with us, we were down at couple of points, but we pulled it out. I think we showed a lot about our team with this win.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.