By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia overcame a sluggish first half to defeat Senegal, 81-68, in 2019 FIBA World Cup Group H action at Dongguan on Tuesday.
Patty Mills led the way with a team-high 22 points. The 31-year-old guard scored 12 of his points in the clinching third-quarter. However, Joe Ingles was the star of the match with 17 points (6/8 FG), 10 rebounds and 9 assists landing a 32 efficiency rating to his name.
“It does not really bother me” the 31-year-old forward replied to a question on him being just one assist shy from the first ever World Cup triple-double. “The only goal was to win the game.”
Things got tough for Andrej Lemanis’ national team, especially in the first half, but effort in both sides improved the situation in the second half. The Australians mostly preserved their double-digit lead after opening the third quarter with a 21-8 run.
“We needed to match their toughness” the 50-year-old head coach pointed out in the post-game press conference. “The game stayed close because we gave up 18 offensive rebounds and made 16 turnovers, but we found a way to get the win.”
The second World Cup victory brings the Boomers one step away from the second round. They will mathematically advance if Lithuania beats Canada later today, but in any case, they control their fate.
For the losing side, Xane Dalmeida put up 14 points. Youssoupha Ndoye posted a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double including an emphatic first-half dunk, Mouhammad Faye had 12 points, 8 of them in the second quarter.
Maurice Ndour notched 13 points up to fouling out. “We really fought today compared to our last horrible game,” he said after the match. “We came out with a lot of energy. Played defense, executed in the offense. That is all you can really ask for. I am proud of my team.”
Moustapha Gaye’s side certainly put up a fight but is now down 0-2. Up next is Canada on Thursday.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL