2015 #FIBAU19 World Championship Finals Recap: July 6, 2015

For the second straight game, Team USA had to fight off a determined foe as Croatia stuck it to the Americans for 40 minutes and then some. Team USA, however, proved to be steadier in the overtime en route to copping the 2015 FIBA U19 Championship crown.

Jalen Brunson led Team USA in a nail-biter over Croatia.
The day’s recap (from FIBA.com):

The United States became the first country since 1983 to successfully defends its title, fighting off a valiant challenge from Croatia for a 79-71 victory in overtime to win the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship trophy. The Americans captured their sixth U19 Worlds crown as four players scored in double-figures, paced by MVP Jalen Brunson's 14 points. Croatia claimed their first podium finish in taking second place as Nik Slavica scored 23 points in the loss.

Croatia trailed 71-67 in overtime and Ivica Zubac missed two close baskets after which Chinanu Onuaku scored inside and the lead grew to 77-67.

The United States shot 45 percent from three-point range compared to 14 percent for Croatia. The Americans had 34 points off the bench, while Croatia had seven players play and just three bench points.

Harry Giles and the rest of the Americans had to scramble in OT just to get past a pesky Croatian team.

One of the day's best plays was this awesome block by Croatia's Nik Slavica on the USA's high-flying Jayson Tatum.

In addition to his 14 points, Brunson ended up dishing out 7 assists, grabbing 5 rebounds, swiping 1 steal and having 0 turnovers.

In the end, the Croatians were unable to overcome Team USA's depth as just seven players played for the Europeans with Marko Arapovic fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. 

Brunson received the MVP award, presented by Tissot. He headlined the All-Star Five with team-mate Harry Giles, Croatia's Marko Arapovic, Turkey’s Furkan Korkmaz and Greece's Tyler Dorsey.

Furkan Korkmaz (TUR), Tyler Dorsey (GRE), Marko Arapovic (CRO), Jalen Brunson (USA), and Harry Giles (USA) comprise the tournament's All-Star Five.

Turkey also ended up in the top three for the first time ever by beating hosts Greece, 80-71, in the Third-Place Game. The Turks bounced back from their Semi-Final drubbing against Croatia with Furkan Korkmaz and Egemen Guven combining for 44 points and 16 rebounds.

Furkan Korkmaz spearheaded the Turks in their clinching of third place over the hosts.

Turkey turned the ball over just six times while turning 17 Greek turnovers into 28 points. The Turks also held the Greeks to just 39 percent shooting.

Greece got 19 points from Tyler Dorsey, but Vasilis Charalampopoulos played just nine minutes and was scoreless. 

In the Classification Games, Canada cruised past Italy 77-44 for fifth place, Australia beat Spain 103-72 to finish seventh, while Serbia came in ninth after edging out Argentina 77-76. Egypt beat Korea 101-88 for 11th place, Dominican Republic grabbed 13th place thanks to a 71-50 rout of Iran, and China got the better of Tunisia 80-68 in the game for 15th place.

Final standings of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship:
1. USA
2. Croatia
3. Turkey
4. Greece
5. Canada
6. Italy
7. Australia
8. Spain
9. Serbia
10. Argentina
11. Egypt
12. Korea
13. Dominican Republic
14. Iran
15. China
16. Tunisia

All images are from FIBA.

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