Future Tiger, Memphian lead USA to gold medal
Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, BRAZIL – University of Memphis incoming freshman Shaq Goodwin had four points and five rebounds in USA Basketball’s 81-56 championship game win over host Brazil at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship Wednesday. It was the second time the U.S. defeated Brazil in the tournament, also posting an 83-64 victory over the host squad during pool play June 18.
The Americans won their sixth gold medal in the U18 competition, joining the 2010, 2006, 1998, 1994 and 1990 U.S. teams that also placed first. In its history at the FIBA Americas U18 tournament, Team USA has a 43-2 overall record (.956 winning percentage), including a current winning streak of 10 straight (5-0 in 2012; 5-0 in 2010).
Goodwin, who netted double figures in three of Team USA’s five games in the tournament, helped his squad pull away in the second half. Holding only a 37-31 advantage at the half, the U.S. picked up its defensive intensity and outscored Brazil 19-9 in the third period to take a 56-40 advantage into the final quarter. The Americans continued to pull away in the fourth period en route to the 81-56 final.
Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes had 11 points and four rebounds in the win. A rising sophomore power forward from Memphis, Tenn., Stokes started all five of Team USA’s games at the championship, averaging 14.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game. The team’s second-leading scorer, he was remarkably efficient offensively, shooting .689 from the field.