July 1, 2009

USA Cruises To Opening Round Win In U19 World Championship

Box Score

The first step into international competition for Butler’s duo of Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack proved successful.  The two earned a berth in the starting lineup and helped the USA to a 106-55 victory over Iran in the opening game of the FIBA U19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

Hayward scored the first basket for the USA in the 16-team tournament, and a basket by Mack gave the USA its first lead, 6-4.  The U.S. squad used a 16-1 scoring run late in the first quarter to sprint to a 30-13 lead and the margin stretched from there.

The U.S. led by 28 points at halftime by 42 points after three quarters.  All 12 players on the U.S. roster saw action in the win, with none playing more than 20 minutes.  Seven U.S. players scored in double-figures, led by Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas with 13 points.

Hayward played 18 minutes as a starting forward for the U.S. squad, and he finished with nine points, five rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot.  He hit three of nine shots from the floor, including one of four from beyond the three-point arc, and two of two from the free throw line.

Mack, the team captain, also played 18 minutes as a starting guard and finished with seven points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals.  He hit three of eight field goal attempts, including one of four from three-point range.

The U.S. returns to tournament play against France on Friday (Thursday at 6 p.m. ET in the U.S.) morning.