USA withstand determined Greece to set up title defence showdown with Croatia
HERAKLION (2015 FIBA U19 World Championship) - The United States will get the chance to defend their title as they reached the Final of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship with an 82-76 victory over hosts Greece. Jalen Brunson scored 30 points for the USA while Harry Giles picked up his fourth straight double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Next up for the reigning champions is a second showdown with Croatia, whom they beat on Day 2 of the tournament 103-82. Greece, who got 23 points from Tyler Dorsey and 21 from Vasilis Charalampopoulos, will face Turkey for third place on Sunday.
Turning Point: Georgios Papagiannis had just thrown down a power dunk to cut the USA's lead to 69-66 but before the Greek defense could even get back, Terrance Ferguson nailed a three-pointer to make it 72-66. The hosts never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
Stats Don't Lie: The United States grabbed 44 rebounds to 33 for Greece and the reigning champs held the Greeks to just 41 percent shooting. The Americans did a good job in the paint with 38 points to 26 for Greece. The United States missed 12 free throws but Greece failed to convert 14 of their free throws.
Game Hero: Brunson hit one big basket after the next while also doing a good job controlling the game with four rebounds, four assists and a steal to go with his 30 points.
The Bottom Line: The United States faced their stiffest test thus far at the tournament and took a series of big punches from the Greeks - but never let the hosts take the lead. The last team standing in the way of the first U19 Worlds title repeat since the United States in 1983 is Croatia - who are appearing in their first final.