Singler has eight points in USA win
MEMPHIS — South Medford's Kyle Singler helped the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team defeat the World Select Team 100-80 Saturday in the 10th Nike Hoop Summit at the FedExForum.
Singler had eight points and five rebounds — including three offensive — but was limited to 16 minutes of playing time because of foul trouble. He had four fouls.
Singler was 3 of 5 from the field, 1 of 3 on 3-pointers and 1 of 2 on free throws.
Kevin Love of Lake Oswego had 13 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
USA went on a 16-0 run in the opening five minutes of the second quarter, relying on opportunistic scoring and strong interior defense to build a comfortable 40-13 lead.
The 20-point margin of victory equaled the previous record (99-79) set in the 2004 game and gave the USA its sixth straight win in the series, which it leads 8-2.
It was the third straight game and fifth in the past seven years USA has reached 100 points.
Guard O.J. Mayo's led five American players in double figures with 20 points, but defense was as much a story of the game as offense.
"In any game you have to play defense," said USA guard Jonny Flynn. "Coach (Pat) Fitterer really put that upon us. You know if you want to win this game, you have to play defense. This is so much fun. This is gonna be the last high school moment we have. Reminiscing over the past years, who got dunked on, who lost to who in certain tournaments, things like that. (This has been a) Real fun experience."
When the USA opened its 27-point lead in the second quarter, the World Team was held without a point for five minutes. The World Team, unable to use its considerable size to score down low or penetrate along the baseline, was limited to outside shots that became a series of one-and-done opportunities.
Until the final four minutes of the second quarter, when the World Team converted on six of its final eight shots, it shot 16 percent from the field and managed only 29 first-half points.
"That first group that played the first five minutes of the second quarter was flat awesome," said Fitterer. "That was great basketball and it was really fluid."
Flynn passed for a USA Nike Hoop Summit record-tying 10 assists, helping set a team mark with 23 assists.
Unlike the 2006 game when USA fell behind early and had to mount a comeback, the 2007 team led from start-to-finish, racing to a quick 7-0 lead following a 3-pointer Love.
A 3-pointer by guard Jerryd Bayless with 3:44 to play in the first quarter gave USA its first double-figure lead, 16-5. The World Select Team got within six points, 17-11, following a dunk by Nigerian center Solomon Alabi. However, the USA would build a 24-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
At halftime, behind nine points from Bayless and seven from Love, USA held a 46-29 lead. Bayless, who is headed to Arizona, finished 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
The World Team closed the deficit to 61-51 with 3:47 left in the third.
But Mayo scored five straight points as USA opened a 68-51 lead less than 11/2 minutes later.