Thursday, 16 August 2007

Cold Third Quarter Seals Canada's Fate; Will Play for Bronze on Saturday

Lithuania broke open a tight game with a 17-6 run to end the third quarter to defeat Canada 79-64 in the championship semi-finals of the FISU Games men's basketball tournament earlier today in Bangkok, Thailand. Canada was in the game down only 5 early in the second half but Lithuania broke off a 6-0 run and maintained a double digit lead, grabbing leads as large as 17 early in the fourth quarter to end Canada's run toward a Gold medal. Canada will now meet the loser of the Serbia vs. Japan matchup being played later today in Saturday's Bronze medal game at 10 AM Thailand time (11 PM Friday night Eastern time). 6'5" Jonas Maciulis, touted as an NBA prospect by several internet sites which track these things, led Lithuania with 18 points and 5 rebounds, while 6'5" Steponas Babrauskas added 13 points/5 rebounds and 6'4" Marius Prekevicius had 12. Lithuania's 7'0" center Michailo Anisimov had 7 points and 7 rebounds. 6'10" Scott Morrison had his most productive game of the tournament, leading Canada with 16 points (7-10 shooting) while 6'5" Jevohn Shepherd had 9 (3-9 shooting), 6'3" Jamie McNeilly added 8 points/5 rebounds while 6'9" Theo Davis added 6 points/7 rebounds while battling foul trouble all afternoon. In total, the teams combined for 51 fouls including 26 for Canada. The Lithuanians had a late 17-10 run in the first quarter to lead by 8 however Canada scored the next 7 points to bring the game back to 26-25 early in the second quarter before Lithuania went to the locker room at halftime up 6. Unfortunately, Canada went cold early in the third quarter which decided the game. Canada chose to replace McNeilly and 6'1" Tristan Blackwood in the starting lineup with Shepherd and 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe, who was coming off an ankle injury suffered in the win over Germany. Gibson-Bascombe finished with 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Canada shot 37% overall from the field and only 5-19 from 3 point land. Lithuania shot 44% from the field and forced 18 Canadian turnovers.

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