Hawes Scores 24 Points for U.S. Juniors in Championship Game
July 2, 2006
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Washington-bound Spencer Hawes led all scorers with 24 points, leading the United States under-18 men's team to a 104-82 triumph over Argentina in the gold medal game of the 2006 FIBA Americas under-18 Championship at Bill Greehy Arena, St. Mary's University.
The 22-point margin of victory was the smallest posted by the U.S. team (4-0) that dominated the tournament field, winning by an average margin of 30 points.
The U.S. team defeated Urguay 111-64 and Brazil 90-66 in opening round action before posting a 92-66 win over Canada in the semifinals.
'This is special,' exclaimed Husky coach Lorenzo Romar, who served as head coach for the U.S. squad. 'It's special for these guys to put their personal goals aside for the sake of the team and hopefully that will teach them what can happen when no one cares who gets the credit.
'I've always felt like the USA possesses the most talent. I think we still play the best basketball in the world. When the guys get together and play together and it means something to play with passion then the USA is the best. If we go out and just go through the motions, we're not the best.'
Hawes agreed with his future college coach's sentiments.
'I think it's a compliment to our players along with our coaches,' Hawes explained. 'We only had two weeks to get together for this where most of these teams probably had multiple years so we had to really do that as a unit and I think we were able to do that very effectively and the results show that coming into fruition.'
The 24-point performance increased Hawes' scoring average for the tournament to 12.0 points per game. The 6-foot-11 center from Seattle Prep High School averaged 7.5 rebounds, including a game-high 10 in the gold medal contest. Hawes hit 9-of-13 shots from the field against Argentina and converted all six of his free throws. He also contributed two blocked shots.
'We came in here and we are expected to win, we're expected to play big games, and that's a lot of pressure that we didn't put on ourselves, but we came in here and won the championship by 20 points and that feels good,' said Hawes. 'We came through and we are happy with the results.'
USA opened the game with a 10-point run, but the Argentines rallied to lead by as many as six points in the first quarter. The Americans regained control and led by a 52-42 margin at halftime.
The U.S. squad outscored Argentina 28-16 in the thinrd quarter and finished the period with an 80-58 advantage. The Argentine squad could get no closer than 16 points after that mark.
Argentina shot 40 percent from the field (25 of 63) and 32 percent (7 of 22) on 3-pointers, along with sinking 25 of 30 free throws (83 percent). USA went 49 percent (35 of 72) from the field, 50 percent (7 of 14) beyond the 3-point arc and 79 percent (27 of 34) at the free throw line. In rebounds, USA held a 41-21 advantage.
In other action, the bronze medal went to Brazil, a 79-70 winner over Canada. The USA, Argentina, Brazil and Canada all qualified for the FIBA U-19 World Championship in July 2007, at a site to be determined.Fifth place was won by Puerto Rico, which beat Uruguay 95-92 in overtime.
(Some text courtesy of USA Basketball)
For more details, including a complete game recap and boxscore go to: USA Basketball
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