CANADA DEFEATS KAZAKHS HANDILY AT U19 WORLDS
Published by CROWN staff on July 8, 2009
“Our guys really came to play today,” said JMNT Head Coach Greg Francis. “It was a good solid effort from everyone on the floor and bench.”
Against the Kazakhs, captains Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, B.C.) and Ty Nurse (Vancouver) performed like leaders contributing a total of 49 points. Olynyk scored 24 points and added nine rebounds, while Nurse led all scorers with 25 points and had five rebounds.
“This was my first good shooting game of the tournament,” said Nurse. “I felt like my shot wasn’t dropping early on, so this was the game I needed to rebound back for my team.”
Cory Joseph (Pickering, Ont.) continued with his ‘A’ game from Monday, finishing with 20 points, on 9-of-14 shooting, and six rebounds. Rookie teammate Jordan Baker (Edmonton) was a force on the boards at both ends of the court, collecting 10 rebounds to lead all players.
Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Tyutyunik led his team with 19 points. Teammates Pavel Illin and Alexandr Zhigulin added 13 and 12 respectively.
Canada came out of the gate on a mission, playing up-tempo ball and scoring quickly. The red-and-white dominated, closing out the first quarter 30-18.
The Kazakhs settled into the game in the second as forward Tyutyunik helped to get his team on the board and chip away at the deficit. But they struggled to tame the top-ranked point guard Joseph, who tallied 16 of his 20 points in the first half. While Canada only scored 22 in the period to the Kazakhs’ 21, the red-and-white closed the half up 52-39.
In the second half, the Canadians continued to dominate on both offence and defence, outscoring the Kazakhs 28-15 in the third and 28-16 in the fourth period to finish the game 108-70. Canada outrebounded the Kazakhs 50-26 and scored 54 points in the paint to Kazakhstan’s 28.
Coach Francis is now looking ahead to tomorrow’s match up and the chance to continue on in the tournament. “We noe have to re-focus for a huge game against Argentina tomorrow which will determine whether we get to play in the next round. If our team says as focused as we were today we will have a good shot of moving on.”
Team Canada (2-3) plays Argentina (3-2) in a must-win game Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. Tuesday ET) that would put the red-and-white in a three-way tie with Spain and Argentina. Only the top two countries, based on tournament results, will advance to the final round.
Canada last played Argentina in the 2008 FIBA Americas Championships, where Argentina claimed the silver medal while Canada finished in third place. Team USA won the gold.
For complete box scores and standings on the FIBA U19 World Championships visit the tournament website at www.newzealand2009.fiba.com.
–By Tanya Williams–