USA U19 team defeats Greece in exhibition opener before FIBA World Championships
USA Basketball’s U19 FIBA World Championship team earned an exhibition win on Tuesday as they opened up international play with a 90-82 comeback victory over Greece.
Trailing at halftime and losing by three entering the fourth quarter, Team USA came back in the fourth quarter in-part thanks to a big effort from Purdue signee Caleb Swanigan. The big man scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the final frame as the USA defense helped propel them to a 19-4 run over a five-minute period in the fourth.
Villanova commit Jalen Brunson was also outstanding at point guard for the Americans, scoring 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting and handing out nine assists with only one turnover. Georgetown sophomore L.J. Peak added 13 points while five-star Class of 2016 power forward Harry Giles had 12 points. Class of 2016 wing Josh Jackson, regarded by Rivals as the No. 1 player in the national class, added 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win.
Guard Dimitrios Stamatis led Greece with 29 points in the loss.
The FIBA U19 World Championships begin on June 27 and run through July 5. USA finds itself in Group A and open the event with pool play against Iran on June 27, Croatia on June 28 and Egypt on June 30.