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USA's stifling defense too much for under-manned Croatia
HERAKLION (2015 FIBA U19 World Championship) - Reigning champions United States used their stifling defense to gain a comfortable 103-81 victory over an under-manned Croatian team to improve to 2-0 in Group A of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship. Five USA players scored in double figures while Croatia were playing without Dragan Bender and forward Ivan Karacic.
Turning Point: Croatia were fighting to stick with the USA, trailing 33-28 midway through the second when Americans went on an 11-2 run to make it 44-30 and Croatia never really threatened again.
Stats Don't Lie: The USA turned their defense to offense with 28 points off turnovers compared to just two for Croatia. And Sean Miller's men had 50 points off their bench while Croatia had 23.
Game Hero: Jayson Tatum made 10-of-15 shots in scoring 22 points with two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Bottom Line: The USA took their lesson from the Iran game and played high intensity defense from the very beginning in moving to 2-0. Croatia struggled to stay in the game early as Marko Arapovic picked up three fouls in the first quarter and Akeksandar Bucan's side will look to bounce back against Iran on Tuesday.