USA and Australia Cruise to Group Top Seeds at U19 World Championship

July 3, 2009

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Both the United States and Australia, featuring Washington State University men's basketball team members, finished their respective group plays undefeated as the U.S. defeated Egypt, 112-55, and Australia defeated Syria, 96-54, Saturday morning NZDT (Friday evening PDT), at the FIBA U19 World Championship.

WSU rising-sophomore Klay Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) scored 11 points and added seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in 18 minutes in USA's win over Egypt. The 6-6 guard finished shot 3-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc in the lopsided win. His classmate DeAngelo Casto (Spokane, Wash.) added three points, a rebound and a blocked shot in 12 minutes of play.

Ashton Gibbs led the USA with 18 points, while Shelvin Mack added 14 and John Shurna chipped in 13 points. The Americans (3-0) finished first in Group B action, defeating fellow Group B members Iran, France and Egypt.

Omar Tarek Oraby led Egypt (1-2) with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Motaz Pellah Okasha added 11 points and Karim Eldashan chipped in 10 points.

The U.S. wasted no time jumping out to a quick 33-11 first quarter lead and extended it to 38 points, 26-24, at halftime. USA blocked 12 shots in the game and out-rebounded Egypt, 49-28.

At the same time the U.S. was on the floor, Australia was taking on Syria in Group C play. Incoming Cougar freshman Brock Motum (Brisbane, Australia) scored 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field, adding four rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes of action. The 6-foot-9 forward leads the team with 49 points in the team's three games.

Matthew Hodgson led Australia with 17 points, while Mitchell Young added 14. Australia (3-0) finished first in Group C action, defeating fellow group members Canada, Spain and Syria. Mahmoud Osfira led Syria (0-3) with 20 points, while Tarek Al Jabe added 18.

With the conclusion of the preliminary round, the top three teams from each of the four groups (A-D) move on to the Final Eight, which consists of Group E and Group F. Group A and B form Group E, while Groups C and D form Group F. Each Group A team will face each Group B member, as each Group C team takes on each Group D squad.

USA will take on the third place team from Group A first, which will be determined later in the day. That game will take place Monday, July 6 at 11 a.m. NZDT (Sunday, July 5 at 4 p.m. PDT). Australia will face the third place team from Group D, either New Zealand or Kazakhstan Monday, July 6 at 5 p.m. NZDT (Sunday, July 6 at 10 p.m. PDT).

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