Aug. 1, 1997
Miller Leads USA 22 and Under Team over Yugoslavia
MELBOURNE, Australia - Texas Tech senior Cory Carr (Fordyce, Ark.) scored a team-high 18 points and the United States (1-0), behind a 25-1 first half scoring spree, broke open a close affair and sailed on from there to record a 95-75 victory over Yugoslavia (0-1) Friday night in the first game of the FIBA 22 and Under World Championship in Melbourne, Australia.
"I thought this was a very hard fought game and I was proud of our players from staying with it after Yugoslavia made its run in the second half," said USA head coach Rick Majerus. "We made a concerted effort to try and substitute early and then we didn't take any timeouts in the first half because we felt we were in better shape in term of our substitution pattern. We made our foul shots (16-of-21) and we had a lot of assists (17). I thought our team shared the ball very well."
The two teams battled evenly for the first half's first 10 minutes and with 8:35 to play in the opening half the USA trailed 25-20. With American center Brad Miller (Purdue/Kenalville, Ind.) scoring eight points early in the run, the U.S. romped on a 25-1 scoring run to take control 45-26 with 2:21 left before half. By half, the U.S. led 50-33.
With the U.S. seemingly in control and leading by as many as 24, 67-43 with 15:07 to play, Yugoslavia's shooting got hot and with 7:07 remaining, Yugoslavia had pulled to within eight, 78-70. Andre Miller (Utah/Los Angeles, Calif.) scored on a drive to push to USA lead back to 10 and back to back baskets by Pat Garrity (Notre Dame/Monument, Colo.) and five more points from Carr helped end the threat as the U.S. took charge, 91-72 and went on to earn the 95-75 win.
In addition to Carr's 18 points, the USA received 14 points from Mike Doleac (Utah/Portland, Ore.), 12 from Andre Miller, 10 from Brad Miller and Mike Jones (Texas Christian/Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Garrity each finished with nine points. Guard Dragan Lukovski led Yugoslavia's scoring with 24 points.
The USA shooting touch was dead on as the Americans shot 64.4 percent (38-of-59) from the field overall. The USA also controlled the glass, out rebounding Yugoslavia 32 to 15. The U.S. returns to play Saturday against New Zealand, then meets China August 3rd, Puerto Rico on August 5th and closes out preliminary round play against Lituania on August 6.
In other 22 and Under action Friday, Argentina downed South Korea. Spain pounded Eygpt, Puerto Rico thumped China, Lithuania beat New Zealand and host Australia upended Turkey.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 22 and Under World Championship is scheduled to run through August 10 in Melbourne, Australia and features a 12-team field. The United States won the inaugural 22 and Under World Championship in 1993.