In fighting for the chance to playoff for ninth position, the Emerging Boomers have defeated Mexico 93-71 to book a final game against Canada at the 2017 World University Games in Taipei.
Marksman Dejan Vasiljevic led a balanced scoring attack with a game-high 23 points that included five three-pointers, as Australia opened up a 10 point lead after the first team, cruising to victory.
The Emerging Boomers were all over their Mexican opponents to open the contest, with Gorjok Gak scoring first. Emmett Naar drained a triple, while Gak and Xavier Cooks were imposing themselves in the paint early. Jack McVeigh landed a trey and Vasiljevic got going too as the Australian's opened up an 11 point lead. Rhys Vague then got fouled at the buzzer, making both to send Australia into the first break leading 29-19.
Vague was enjoying his time on court, connecting on a shot from beyond the arc. Tyrell Harrison was fed by Cooks and converted on a three-point play and Australia remained in command. The Uniroos closed out the half with back-to-back three-pointers from Vasiljevic and a buzzer-beater by McVeigh to head into the main break leading 51-37.
Two consecutive long bombs from Vasiljevic and McVeigh to open the second half saw the Emerging boomers quickly extend the lead to beyond 20 points. Vasiljevic's offensive onslaught continued, connecting on three more triples for the period and racking up 23 points by the end of the third term, as he led the Uniroos into the final change with a convincing 73-55 lead.
Mexico finally got a mini-run going at the start of the last period before Matthew Kenyon scored 4 straight points to halt their charge. Kenyon enjoyed a great final period, combining well with Naar and Craig Moller to ensure Australia cruised to a 22 point win.
Australia dominated the rebound count 42-22, and making 20-of-26 at the charity stripe in comparison to a meagre 2-of-6 by the Mexican's.
While Vasiljevic was the game's leading scorer, Xavier Cooks compiled a double-double consisting of 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks to assert a strong influence on the game. Kenyon added 12 points and 4 rebounds in 15 minutes, as McVeigh chimed in with 11 points on 3-of-5 three-pointers.
Australia have now qualified to play off for ninth position and will tackle Canada who defeated the Czech Republic on Tuesday, 29 August at 7:30pm AEST.
Australia 93: Vasiljevic 23, Kenyon 12, McVeigh 11, Cooks 10 Mexico 71: Rivera 16, Alvarez 16, Machado 13
Emerging Boomers Schedule (all times AEST)
Pool D August 20: Australia lost to Ukraine 76-80 August 21: Australia defeated Lithuania 84-82 August 23: Australia lost to Israel 72-89 August 24: Australia defeated Russia 89-71 August 25: Australia defeated Mozambique 87-58 August 27: Classification 9-16 – Australia defeated Estonia 105-93 August 28: Classification 9-12 – Australia defeated Mexico 93-71 August 29: Classification 9-10 - Australia vs Canada at 7:30pm AEST