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African champions Mali drop reigning champs Canada at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup

Team Mali African Champions Drop Reigning Champs Canada At 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup
Team Mali African Champions Drop Reigning Champs Canada At 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup

In what will go down as a massive upset, African champions Mali defeated defending Champions Canada 71-70 at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece.

Trailing 39-33 at half-time Mali took the game to Canada in the third-quarter by getting the Canadians in early foul trouble and bonus situation to ripped off a 20-0 run after Canada led 45-37 and take a 57-45 lead and control of the game.

Team Canada was able to cut the margin of deficit to single digits at 57-50 by holding Mali scoreless for the last 4:27 of the third quarter.

Karim Mane Canada Loses To Mali 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup
Canada’s Karim Mane drives to the hoop as Canada falls to African Champs Mali at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Dan Vanhooren’s troops continued to battle but still trailed 70-63 with 3:10 to play — Two triples down the stretch by AJ Lawson and Karim Mane cut the lead down to one point with 1:13 to play. Canada forced Mali into three straight turnovers including a illegal screen foul that sent point guard Joel Brown to line. The Brewster Academy play-maker missed the first and tied the game at 70-70 with 28 seconds left.

Mali’s Hassan Drame got fouled on his way to the basket and knocked down one-of-two freethrows to put them ahead at 71-70. Canada failed to complete the comeback as AJ Lawsons triple came-up short.

Canada struggled to contain Mali on the glass all-game allowing Mali to pull down an impressive 27 offensive rebounds on their way to a 64-49 advantage.

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Further to Canada’s rebounding issues, Mali forced the Canadians into 19 turnovers a terrible 41.2% shooting from the foul-line — going 7-of-17.

Team Mali African Champions Drop Reigning Champs Canada At 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup
Team Mali, African Champions, drop reigning champs Canada at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Siriman Kanoute paced four Mali players in double-figures with a game-high 22 points and four rebounds. Hassan Drame added a big double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Twin brother Fousseyni Drame also racked-up a double-double with 12 points and game-high 15 rebounds.

Keon Ambrose Hylton Two Hand Throw Down Against Mali 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup
Keon Ambrose Hylton two hand throw down against Mali 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Keon Ambrose-Hylton 16 points and 5 rebounds strong play off the bench led Canada. Karim Mane 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists and AJ Lawson 11 points and 3 rebounds combined for 8-of-24 shooting.

Just two years ago Canada hammered Mali 91-42 at the 2017 U19 World Cup in Cairo Egypt.

Canada (1-1) will closeout group B play against Latvia (0-3).

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