USA2 hangs on to win

Portland -- It may have been easier to call the teams shirts and skins in a game that more resembled rat-ball in an open gym, but there was obvious effort and results as Team USA2 defeated Team USA5, 101-91 at the Chiles Center on the campus of the University of Portland.

The game was a see-saw of momentum and while there was some semblance of basketball being played on the floor, courtsiders needed to be reminded that the group of high school soon-to-be seniors, juniors and sophomores were playing four 10-minute quarters, with a 24-second shot clock and international markings on the floor.

The game promised to showcase at least four Pac-10 players, two committed to the University of Oregon (Matt Humphrey and Mike Dunigan), one to the University of Washington (Isaiah Thomas) and one to UCLA (Drew Gordon) and all four demonstrated they belonged on the floor even though it may not have been the best of nights.

Humphrey again showed great court awareness and made a valiant attempt to spread the ball around, even though most of the other players turned the game into an up-and-down court horse race more reminiscent of NBA garbage time rather than prime time. Quietly though, Humphrey ended up with 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting including the game breaking 3-pointer with under a minute left in the contest to put the game out of reach for the white clad USA2 squad.

The game had started off with the white team taking control of the scoreboard and at one point in the first quarter lead by 11 points, but in the latter part of the first quarter Thomas became a thorn in the side of the USA2 by continually hitting jumpers and making some near impossible drives. The first 10-minutes ended with USA2 leading by one, 20-19 and for the rest of the game the score never really varied much more than three points either way. With Tyreke Evans doing most of the damage for USA2, the game needed a big play and that's where Humphrey showed his stuff.

Evans took the ball on the high post and dribbled to his left toward a double screen, with about seven seconds left on the 24-second shot clock he threw a pass to a wide open Humphrey standing behind the 3-point arc. Humphrey wasted no time and made a sweet left handed jumper, cutting the twine nicely for a clean bucket and USA2 had the game in hand.

"That was the game right there," said Humphrey of the shot.

Humphrey also had four assists, but he would have had more credits had the guys on the other end of his passes finished the plays with a basket. Humphrey though isn't concerned with the statistics as he is very willing to keep dishing the ball off to his teammates.

"There are a lot of good players out here," Humphrey stated. "I don't have to take my shot first."

His future Duck teammate, Dunigan was less than pleased with his own effort, finishing with four points and five rebounds. Part of his frustration came with the tempo of the game and the fact his teammates, except for Humphrey, were looking to score first, pass second.

"I didn't play very well," admitted Dunigan of his performance. "I can do better."

Thomas was the games leading scorer with 29 and there were a total five players on USA5 that scored in double figures. Evans, a 5-star prospect led the way for USA2 with 25 points and a total of four players including Humphrey had double-figure scoring.

USA2 will face USA1 tomorrow in the winner's bracket at 1:30 p.m. The winner of that contest will play again at 8 p.m. tomorrow night in the championship game.

USA2-USA5 Box Score.

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