Gibbs Scores 18; USA Secures No. 1 Seed

Pitt sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs led the way with 18 points, as Team USA stomped Egypt 112-55 in the men's under-19 championship tournament on the Fourth of July in Aukland, New Zealand.

Team USA (3-0) earned the No. 1 seed in Group B to advance into the July 6-8 Second Round.

Ashton Gibbs played 18 minutes off the bench and registered team-highs of 18 points and six assists. He also converted 8 of 11 field goals and hit two 3-pointers in four attempts.

In the USA's three games, Gibbs leads the USA team in scoring (12.7 points per game) and assists (12) and has converted 53.3 percent (16-30) of his field goal attempts and 40 percent (6-15 of his 3-point attempts. He scored 10 points in each of the team's first two contests and led the Americans with his 18-point outburst against Egypt.

"We handled things well today,'' Pittsburgh and Team USA coach Jamie Dixon said. "We knew this was a game that we should win. What I was impressed with was the focus and determination we showed today.

"One of our goals was to finish the preliminary round with our group's No. 1 seed and we achieved that today. Another goal of ours is to continue to improve throughout the tournament and over the last two games I think we have, especially defensively.''

The USA started quickly, as Shelvin Mack (Butler / Lexington, Ky.) scored five points and Terrico White (Mississippi / Memphis, Tenn.) added four to take an early 9-2 advantage. With 5:01 left in the first quarter and the USA leading 14-6, Gibbs, who had 12 points in the first half, accounted for seven points in a span of 1:11 to help push the U.S. advantage to 24-8.

Closing out the quarter in charge at 33-11, the U.S. shot 13-for-20 from the floor and committed just a lone turnover in the game's first 10 minutes.

It was more of the same in the second quarter. Receiving point production from seven different players, the USA opened the quarter with a 20-4 scoring barrage and upped its advantage to 53-15 with 4:58 remaining. By halftime, the U.S. had taken a 62-24 lead and cruised on for the 112-55 victory.

Advancing to form Group E for the Second Round are the United States, France and Egypt (1-2) from Group B, Greece, Puerto Rico and Lithuania from Group A.

Moving on to form Group F for the second round is Australia, Spain and Canada from Group C, and Argentina, Croatia and New Zealand from Group D. Following a day off, the action resumes July 6 with the United States taking on Greece (7:30 p.m. NZ TBA). The USA will conclude second-round action by facing Puerto Rico July 7 and Lithuania July 8.

Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the two second-round groups qualify for the quarterfinals with an opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth places in Groups E and F play for ninth through 12th places. The quarterfinals will be held July 10. The semifinals are slated for July 11, and the gold medal game is July 12.

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