Saturday, 14 July 2007

Canada Battles Tough Aussies but comes up short

6'10" Andrew Ogilvy dominated inside on both ends with 26 points, 18 rebounds and 4 blocks, going 11 for 11 from the field as Australia (3-0) held off a late Canada rally for an 81-70 victory on the final day of preliminary play at the FIBA World U19 basketball championships in Serbia. Canada had no answers for the polished inside play of Ogilvy (pictured), who should be a force in the SEC next season as a freshman at Vanderbilt and is already being touted for either the 2008 or 2009 NBA draft. The Canadians were led by another strong effort from 6'2" Devoe Joseph, who had 31 points, 23 in the first half, on 13-21 shooting including 5-9 from 3 point land with all 5 3's coming in the first half. Canada (1-2) now awaits the result of the Turkey/Nigeria game to be played at noon eastern time to find out if they qualify for the classification round. Nigeria (0-2) must defeat Turkey (1-1) by at least 15 points to eliminate Canada from the next round. Anything less and the Canadians will make it to the round of 12.

Ogilvy was at his best early in the second half during an 8-2 Aussie run, scoring 6 points including his second dunk of the game and adding a blocked shot that led to a fast break layup by 6'0" Patrick Mills (11 points), who is headed to St. Mary's (CA), giving Australia a 55-39 lead. But 6'4" Alwayne Bigby made a steal that led to a score by D.Joseph and 6'10" Maurice Walker (7 points, 9 rebounds including 5 on the offensive glass) came alive with some putbacks to keep Canada close. Still Canada trailed by 15 after 3 quarters. However, the Canadians had one run left as 6'7" Boris Bakovic (8 points) came alive, scoring 6 points in the fourth quarter to bring Canada back to within 7 at 75-68 with about 4 minutes remaining but D. Joseph missed a 3 and then turned it over, allowing the Aussies to score the next 4 points and turn away the valiant Canadians.

Australia's dominance in the paint was illustrated in their 30-47 (64%) shooting effort from the floor including 5-19 3's. Canada stayed in the game with strong work by Joseph and on the offensive glass where they snarred 17 offensive rebounds.

First Half Recap
: Canada once again started their relatively small, quick lineup of Devoe Joseph, Jonathan House, Alwayne Bigby, Boris Bakovic and Scott Brittain and fell behind by 13 early at 22-9 as the bigger, stronger Australian's took advantage inside. Australia jumped out to an 8-2 lead by pounding the ball inside and attacking the offensive glass, highlighted by a pair of dunks by 's 6'7" Ben Dowdell, headed to Santa Clara (NCAA D1) this fall. The Aussie's continued their assault in the paint and when highly-touted 6'10" Andrew Ogilvy slammed home another, Canada trailed by 8 at 15-7. It was 22-9 for an "on fire" Australian side before 6'6" House broke a 12-4 run with 4 straight points. But then Devoe went to work and when the slick guard from Pickering knocked in back-to-back 3's Canada was back to within one at 36-35. However the Aussies went off on an 8-0 run to push the lead back up and a Patrick Mills 3 gave Australia a 47-37 halftime lead in a half when Canada was outrebounded 26-12 including giving up 9 offensive boards.

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