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Monday / December 18.
  • USA to Play for Gold Medal After U19 Classic; World University Team Falls to Russia

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    After a heart-stopping 81-77 semifinal victory over Croatia Saturday, the USA set up a classic final match-up with Greece at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Auckland New Zealand.


    Shelvin Mack hit a tough pull up and Gordon Haywood made 4-of-4 free throws and grabbed a crucial offensive rebound in the decisive fourth quarter.

    Haywood was again outstanding for the USA with 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Seth Curry (10 points) was crucial in the first half. Ashton Gibbs (11 points) and Terrico White (10) also scored in double figures.

    Croatia faces a re-match with Australia to decide the bronze medal, and the USA will play European champions Greece in the gold medal game.

    WORLD UNIVERSITY TEAM FALLS TO RUSSIA

    The 2009 USA Men’s World University Games Team (5-1) saw its gold medal hopes slip away in the waning minutes after Russia (6-1) outscored the U.S. 20-9 in the final stanza for the 69-68 win on Friday night in Belgrade, Serbia.

    The U.S. still has a chance at a medal, however, and will face Israel (6-1) in Saturday’s bronze medal game (12:00 p.m. EDT). Host Serbia (5-1) advanced to the gold medal game against Russia after thumping Israel 82-56.

    Corey Fisher (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.) and Robbie Hummel (Purdue / Valparaiso, Ind.) scored 14 points apiece, while Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.) finished the night with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

    “That game was hard-fought,” said USA and University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan. “Defensively, look at what we were making them shoot. Of course, they were playing hard too, and look what they did to us. Finding easy baskets in that game was very, very difficult. You have a bad shooting night one game, and then you are on the sideline for the championship game. Now we have to play for the bronze, which is a great opportunity for these guys to bounce back and leave on a winning note.”

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    (Courtesy FIBA and USA Basketball)

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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.