CAIRO, Egypt — Team USA fell to Canada, 99-87, in the semifinal round of the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup. Oregon basketball was represented proudly on Saturday. Payton Pritchard registered 16 points in the loss, while Abu Kigab added 14 of his own for the winning side.
The USA U19 team has not lost a game since the quarterfinals at the 2011 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup. Current U19 head coach John Calipari told fiba.com the other day that he doesn’t think his team is unbeatable. Apparently, he was right.
“Well, we’re not unbeatable,” said Calipari.
Unfortunately, Pritchard will not be apart of a back-to-back-to-back World Cup run. The nation’s No. 1 prospect, RJ Barrett, from the class of 2019 made sure of it.
The 5-star Barrett tallied a game-high 38 points for Canada. He fouled out after snatching 13 total rebounds off the glass in a monumental double-double effort. From the same hometown as Dillon Brooks, the Mississauga product shot 50 percent (12-for-24) from the floor.
It took Oregon’s incoming freshman some time to find his rhythm, but when he did in the second half, Kigab silenced the American-partisan crowd from Egypt.
The former Prolific Prep star concluded with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. He struggled from the floor, shooting just 3-for-11 (27 percent), but he made up for it from the charity stripe (7-for-11). He has been the catalyst for Canada’s unprecedented run. It has been a pleasure to watch his game grow on a global scale.
As for the West Linn native, Pritchard was on his game to begin the day. Pritchard was second on the team in scoring with 16 points. He added four boards, four dimes and a stolen pass. Overall, Pritchard shot 50 percent from the floor (6-for-12), as well as from deep (4-for-8).
In the end, Canada was just too much for Team USA on this day. 99 points from an U19 team is a handful, coupled by the fact that they had no answer for Barrett or Kigab.
Canada moves onto the 2017 World Cup where they will play Italy. The Italian team came back from an 11-point deficit to defeat Spain in their semifinal match-up.
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