U.S. Advance To Play Israel In The Quarters
"USA, USA, USA." Even in Germany you could hear the chants.
"The place has been packed," U.S. assistant coach Kevin Nunley from his hotel room in Germany. "It's all these Army guys. The place holds 2,300 and there's 2,300 in the gym."
Team USA needed all of the support it could get, and for the second game in a row, it had to rally for a win. This time, Australia was the hard luck loser, 88-82, as Tennessee-bound junior guard Dane Bradshaw led a furious comeback.
"We were down 7 with 7 (minutes) to play," Nunley said. "We went on a 16-0 run led by Dane Bradshaw." He went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch and hit 2 3s en route to all of his 10 points in the second half.
"He's very, very tough mentally," Nunley said. "He's been in foul trouble both games. For about a two-minute stretch he just took over. He's tough and strong."
Bradshaw led the late surge but again it was Brandon Bowman who led the team in scoring. Bowman hit for 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Junior Ikene Ibekwe (14, 7 rebs.) and Eliah Clarke (16 points) came off the bench to give the U.S. a big spark.
JR Reynolds scored 16. "JR was battling a cold so he struggled but ended up getting 16."
Next up for the United States (2-0) is a quarterfinal tussle with Israel. The Israelis beat France in overtime and lost to Greece by 18. That game takes place on Thursday.
Could a title be on the horizon for the U.S. youngsters? "They say that we are going to play the winner of Spain and someone else," Nunley said. "I think athletically and basketball wise, yes (we are the best team). We have trouble playing together sometimes and that's our biggest problem."