Al Shorta make quick work of Malaysia Dragons
DeAndre Rice had a whale of a game for Al Shorta, which rebounded from a Day 1 loss to China Kashgar. He also had a lot of help from Justin Hawkins and Thulfiqar Hammoodi, who scored 33 and 10 points respectively. Malaysia played only six guys in this match, with Skylar Spencer scoring 22 points in the losing cause.
Turning Point: Malaysia were able to stay within striking distance after the first quarter, 21-14, but the Iraqis outscored them big time, 51-30, in the middle two periods to really break the game wide open. Al Shorta entered the final frame ahead, 72-42, and they were never threatened from then on.
Stats Don't Lie: Defense was Al Shorta’s calling card in this game. Coach Maher Khenfir’s wards forced Malaysia to commit 22 turnovers, which the Iraqis channelled into 27 points, and the Iraqi side also held the Dragons to only 34.7% shooting from the field. Clearly, Malaysia will have to find a way to take better care of the ball and make better offensive decisions in their next few games.
Game Hero: DeAndre Rice was unstoppable here. The 1.85m combo guard struggled form the field last night against China, but he bounced back in a big way here, making 13 of his 24 field goal attempts, including 7 triples, en route to scoring 36 points. He also added 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 assist to his name as Al Shorta got their first win of the tournament.
The Bottom Line: Al Shorta were looking to recover some lost ground after yesterday’s defeat at the hands of the hosts, and they did just that with this resounding victory over the hapless Malaysians. The Dragons have have a quality import in Spencer, but they will need more from their other reinforcement, Joel Wright, who finished with just 9 points on 3-of-13 field goal shooting.