USA book FIBA World Cup ticket, as Uruguay officially eliminated
MONTEVIDEO (Uruguay) - It's official, as USA finally clinched their spot at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 thanks to a +23-point advantage in the second half to get an 88-77 road win over Uruguay.
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It was a very slow start for USA, as they tried to find their team chemistry. They nearly had as many turnovers (6) as points (7) in the opening quarter and Uruguay took advantage and scored 11 points off those turnovers.
USA were down by as many as 14 points in the second quarter and then 12 points at halftime, but they got things going in the third quarter, starting the quarter on a 9-2 run on their way to outscoring Uruguay 30-17 to take a 59-58 lead into the final quarter.
After trailing 66-65, Langston Galloway took over and scored the next 11 points for USA, helping them stretch their lead out to nine points. They never looked back and led by as many as 15 points.
Galloway was the star for USA, scoring a game-high 21 points along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point. The 31-year-old guard also didn't commit a single turnover in his 31 minutes on the court.
This was Galloway's eighth straight game scoring at least 10 points in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers.
Guard Xavier Moon also chipped in 17 points and 6 assists, making 3-of-4 shots from three-point range. Galloway and Moon combined to knock down seven of the team's nine made threes.
Agustin Ubal was the main bright spot for Uruguay, as the 19-year-old finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. 23-year-old Joaquin Rodriguez had an efficient night, scoring 15 points in only 17 minutes off the bench.
Uruguay did outrebound USA 29-19 and scored 12 second chance points from their 6 offensive rebounds, but USA outscored Uruguay by 18 points from beyond the arc and also dished out 20 assists compared to only seven for the home team.
USA are now 9-2 in Group F and have officially clinched their spot at the World Cup later this year. They will face Brazil (7-4) in their final qualifying game on Sunday February 26.
Uruguay fall to 5-6 in the group and have been eliminated from World Cup contention. They will close their qualifiers against Mexico (7-4) on February 26.