Beasley guides U.S. to win over Brazil

NOVI SAD, Serbia - Kansas State incoming freshman Michael Beasley scored 16 points and grabbed nine boards as the 2007 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team (5-0) continued its winning ways after battering Brazil (2-3) 104-65 at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship on Tuesday.

Featuring eight players who scored in double digits, the North Americans received 13 points from Patrick Beverley (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.), Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.), DeAndre Jordan (Bellaire Episcopal H.S. / Humble, Texas) and Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.) each chipped in 11; while Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.), Raymar Morgan (Michigan State / Canton, Ohio) and Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.) added 10 points apiece.

"(Having eight players in double digits) means we were sharing the ball, moving the ball around, playing unselfish," said Beasley. "Great things were happening."

The U.S. will next take on France (4-1) to close out second round play on July 18 (2:30 p.m. EDT). Following tomorrow’s second round contests, the top four finishing teams in each group advance to the July 20 quarterfinals. The semifinals are slated to be played July 21 and the gold medal will be contested on July 22.

"I thought it was a great bounce back from last night," said USA and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright. "We really came out and established ourselves right away. We had a couple of lulls, but I thought a lot of that was due to line-up changes. In the second half we really came ready to play, we scored the first (two) baskets and established ourselves."

Beasley, Beverley and Thompson contributed four points apiece in a USA 12-2 opening run of which Brazil would never fully recover. Brazil finally woke up and began hitting buckets, but by the end of the first quarter, the North Americans held a 14-point, 30-16 advantage.

The second quarter was one of spurts. Each team put together mini runs and by the midway break, it was still a 14-point ball game, 45-31.

Flynn and Thomson hit back-to-back buckets to kick-off the second half and put the United States up 49-31 at 9:23. Brazil made a valiant effort to counter the USA’s defensive intensity, picking off three passes in an 11-3 run and with 16:40 in the game the gap was narrowed to just 10 points, 52-42.

That was as close as Brazil would come. The United States regrouped, stopped Brazil cold and reeled off 19 unanswered points and with 12:53 remaining, the game was in the bag, 71-42. The U.S. ended up outscoring Brazil 33-17 in the third quarter and cruised through the fourth for the win.

"It was a big game for a couple of kids," added Wainwright. "DeAndre Jordan got back on the map, Raymar Morgan got back on the map. The great thing about this group of kids is that a guy like Deon Thompson can sit down tonight and not play much after he carried us last night. It was an important game for Michael Beasley, I thought he really did what we asked him to do defensively and was a real factor against their big kid."

Brazil’s Paulao Prestes had game-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds for his squad.

In other Group E second round play Lithuania (2-3) beat China (1-4) 85-66, while Serbia (4-1) upended France (4-1) 79-62. In Group F, Canada (2-3) downed South Korea (1-4) 99-83, while Turkey (3-2) upset Spain (4-1) 59-56, and Australia (5-0) nipped Argentina (3-2) 79-78.

In classification play, Nigeria (2-3) finished in 13th place with an 82-65 victory over Lebanon (1-4), while Mali (1-4) earned its first win to take 15th place after edging Puerto Rico (0-5) 89-81.

Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, is heading up the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team coaching staff, and collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University’s (D.C.) Karl Hobbs are serving as assistant coaches.