Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lithuania Thumps USA U-19 Team; Lamb Scores 6

Jeremy Lamb scored six points in 18 foul-plagued minutes as the U.S. Under-19 team lost to Lithuania's Under-20 squad 101-72 on Sunday in Panevezys, Lithuania.

Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan/Miami, Fla.) paced the USA offense with 18 points, 16 coming in the second half. Team USA had only arrived in Lithuania about 26 hours before tip-off.

Joe Jackson (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.) added 13 points and a team-leading eight rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Americans, while Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa) finished with 12 points and four rebounds.

Lamb started and shot 2-for-6 from the floor (2-for-4 on 3-pointers) to go along with a pair of rebounds and three turnovers. He committed four fouls.

"I thought the Lithuanian team played very well, especially in the first half. They moved the ball extremely well and did a great job of screening our guys," commented USA head coach Paul Hewitt (George Mason). "I expected us to play better. I don't think we played very well. But again credit should go to Lithuania, they played well.

"I thought the thing we learned from this game is just how physical the game is. We have to raise our level of physicality, especially on the defense end, firing through screens, and on the offensive end, setting better screens. I thought in the first half we were a little timid, a little light on our screens. In the second half, especially in the third quarter, we did as better job. We picked it up defensively, picked it up offensively and did much better.

The U.S. never found its rhythm in the game. Falling behind 5-0, Jackson converted two free throws and Meyers Leonard (Illinois/Robinson, Ill.) hit a short jumper with 8:30 left on the clock to close the gap to 5-4. The USA shooting went arctic cold from that point and the red, white and blue didn't hit another jumper until the 2:36 mark of the period, and by then the USA was looking at a 26-8 deficit.

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