United States end Mali dream, claim seventh U19 World Cup crown
HERAKLION (Greece) - United States reclaimed their spot atop youth basketball by defeating Mali 93-79 to win the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019 title - the seventh crown for the country in the history of the competition.
Cade Cunningham collected 21 points to pace five USA players in double figures as they added the 2019 crown to their extensive collection, which includes titles from 1979, 1983, 1991, 2009, 2013 and 2015.
United States led only 42-40 after the first half but used a 12-0 run to start the third quarter and never faltered the rest of the way as they went undefeated in the run to redemption having been knocked out by eventual champions Canada in the Semi-Finals of the 2017 U19 World Cup.
Mali came into the title bout having already long done Africa proud by even reaching the Final, eclipsing the continent's previous best mark of 11th place in the tournament's past. Hassan Drame and Abdoul Karim Coulibaly both scored 17 points for Mali, who had only posted one victory in their previous two appearances in the competitions - a 1-4 record and 15th place in 2007 and an 0-7 mark and 16th place in 2017.
In the Third-Place Game, France defeated Lithuania 73-68 thanks to 33 points from Joel Ayayi. It was France's first medal at the U19 World Cup since the country finished third in 2007.
The Most Valuable Player of the tournament went to Reggie Perry of the United States and he was joined on the All-Star Five by his USA teammate Tyrese Haliburton, Oumar Ballo and Siriman Kanoute of Mali and Joel Ayayi of France.
FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019 Final Standings
1. United States
6. Puerto Rico
13. New Zealand
FIBA (fiba.basketball) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).