Watson helps U.S. Juniors win

Tennessee's C.J. Watson hit a key 3-point basket in the final minutes, helping the USA Basketball Men's Junior World Championship team hold off Slovenia 84-83 in the opening game of the FIBA Junior World Championships at Thessaloniki, Greece.

Paul Davis (Michigan State) scored 24 points and Daniel Brown (Illinois) added 20 to pace the U.S. team. C.J. Watson chipped in nine points and six assists.

Down 32-18 in the second quarter, the USA team rallied to take a 44-43 halftime lead. Slovenia led 71-70 with 5:20 remaining but Deron Williams (Illinois), Watson and Brown hit 3-pointers as the U.S. surged ahead 79-75 with 3:22 left. The American team held on to win when Slovenia missed two potential game-winning shots from point-blank range in the final 10 seconds.

''When people look at the results of this game, the appearance will be that we struggled. We didn't struggle; that was a good basketball team that has been playing together for a while,'' USA and University of Oregon head coach Ernie Kent said. ''This was a difficult game because we haven't had an opportunity to scout Slovenia. So a smart European team that runs seven or eight really good set with great shooters ... they're going to cause you problems if you've never seen them before and that's exactly what happened in the game.''

Slovenia's Erazem Lorbek, a Michigan State teammate of USA team members Davis and Marucie Ager (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.), posted a game high 28 points, making 11-of-17 shots overall, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.


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