USA ends worst-ever World Cup outing on a positive note

2019-09-14T11:36:06+00:00 2019-09-14T12:20:47+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

14/Sep/19 11:36

USA went up 19, but still needed a fourth-quarter effort in the 7th place game.

By Eurohoops Team/

USA wrapped up the 2019 FIBA World Cup with the 87-74 win over Poland at Beijing on Saturday. Seventh place in the final standings still marked the worst-ever performance for the five-time world champions.

Donovan Mitchell finished up his China trip with a team-high 16 points, also dished 10 assists. Joe Harris posted 14 points, Khris Middleton 13 and Derrick White 12. Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker were sidelined due to injury.

Team USA went up 19 in the second quarter, but did not build on its lead in the third. The losing side struggled beyond the arc especially in the first half missing its first 13 attempts, but managed to trim the deficit in the second half.

Mateusz Ponitka was among second half improvements and ended up with a game-high 18 points, also grabbed 7 rebounds. Adam Waczynski notched 17 points and A.J. Slaughter finished with 15 points, 5 dimes and 4 boards.

The result placed Gregg Popovich’s national team in seventh place and Mike Taylor’s in eighth. USA fell one spot below the sixth-place finish in 2002, while Poland finished three places lower than the fifth spot secured in its lone previous appearance in the global tournament back in 1967.

The rest of the World Cup schedule features Serbia versus the Czech Republic for fifth place later Saturday, also the gold medal match between Argentina and Spain, and the bronze medal tilt between France and Australia on Sunday. All three games are set to take place at Beijing.