Dubai – UAE – Canada’s U17 Cadet Men’s National Team (CMNT) picked up a crucial and much needed 74-69 victory over Australia to improve it’s record to 2-1 at the 2014 FIBA World championships.
Team Canada survived a big-time performance from Australia 6’11 big-men Issac Humphries who dominated Canada from start to finish putting up a game-high 41 points and 19 rebounds.
Humphries scored Australia’s first 16 points to give the Aussies an early 16-9 lead and continued his assault on the Canadian interior by shooting 16-of-23 from the floor, 9-of-11 from the free-throw line against the under-sized Canadian team that lost two key members (Justin Jackson & Nolan Narain) prior to the World Championships. Canada re-grouped with a 13-6 run to tie it up at 22-22 before a late three-pointer gave Australia a 25-22 advantage after one quarter of play.
The game came to a grinding halt and percentages dipped in the second quarter with both teams combining to score only 23 points. David DeAveiro troops moved ahead by outscoring their opponents 15-8 and a slim 37-33 lead at half-time.
From there Canada never trailed again withholding the Aussies inside presence on the defensive end and hitting timely shots off unselfish ball movement. Canada also pushed the slim lead forward by outscoring Australia 22-18 in the third-quarter and 26-23 in the final frame to earn a well deserve victory over a talent team.
Canada was led by Kitchener Ontario point guard Jamal Murray who scored 14 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter. Murray shot 8-for-16 for the game and also added seven rebounds in the process. Back court mate Howard Washington Jr. provided the spark the Canadians needed to open a tight contest early in the third-quarter scoring seven points to finish 18 points and five rebounds. Canada’s starting back court combined for 43 points and 12 rebounds.
Eddie Ekiyor had the tough task of guarding Humphries and contributed a solid 9points and four rebounds. Marquell Fraser and Nikola Djogo added and points each with Fraser also pulling down six rebounds.
Canada shot at a 41/1% clip (30/73) and 9/24 from three-pointers. Australia was ice cold from downtown shooting 1/19 from the outside and 29/74 (39.2%) from the floor.
The Aussies pounded the Canadians on the glass with 54-39 advantage and 20 offensive rebounds, with Humphries responsible for 10 of those.
Canada’s coaching staff of David DeAveiro, Barnaby Craddock and Stephane Barrie and his young squad finish second in group B with a record of 2-1 and will take Angola (1-2) in the round of 16 game.
France topped Group B standings ahead of Canada and Australia who had identical records 2-1 records.