The Australian U19 Emus suffered a loss in their first game of this year’s FIBA U19 World Championship – falling 74-71 to Canada.
Australia came out of the gates slowly, struggling to find a rhythm on the offensive end. With both teams playing small lineups – with the intent to run in transition as much as possible – rebounding was a struggle. Canada was able to take control of the glass, leading to a number of second-chance points.
With the Emus trailing 17-8 at the end of the first quarter, it took a burst of energy from William McDowell-White to get them back into the game. McDowell-White showed off his ability to get to the rim, as well as knocking down a 3-pointer to trim Canada’s lead.
The game was tied at 30-30 heading into the main break – McDowell-White with 7 points, while Jack McVeigh and Kyle Clark each chipped in with 4 points apiece.
There is an emphatic cry of “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi” from the stands at the Heraklion Arena #FUBAU19
— David Hein (@heinnews) June 27, 2015
Australia opened up the third quarter with an increased level of energy, with Dejan Vasiljevic finding his stroke. The game remained close, throughout, but the Canadians managed to hit their shots from the perimeter to extend their lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Despite Australia showing their customary grit to open the fourth quarter, the Emus just couldn’t get into a good rhythm on the offensive end – with Canada hitting their late free throws to seal their 74-71 victory. Canada’s Dillon Brooks led the way with a game-high 22 points.
For Australia, Dejan Vasiljevic finished with 14 points and 3 rebounds while Tom Wilson had an impressive 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
William McDowell-White was Australia’s most effective player throughout the game, coming off the bench to post 9 points and 4 steals.
Australia struggled to score the ball inside the paint, something that will need to change when they face bigger teams throughout the tournament. Shooting just 5-for-25 from behind the 3-point line, the Emus will be hoping to find their stroke after an uncharacteristically off night.
Watch a full replay of the game below. The boxscore can be found here.
The Emus face Italy during Sunday’s action, tipping off at 8:45pm (AEST).