World team beats US 103-101 at Hoop Summit
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Canada’s Jamal Murray had 30 points and Italy’s Frederico Mussini scored the go-ahead points on three free throws with 2:04 remaining to help the World Selects beat the United States 103-101 on Saturday in the annual Nike Hoop Summit.
Skal Labissieri, a 7-foot forward from Haiti who is bound for Kentucky, scored 21 points. Louisiana State-bound Ben Simmons of Australia had 13 points and nine assists.
Luke Kennard, who has signed at Duke, had 22 points to lead the United States, which had five players score in double figures. Villanova-bound Jalen Brunson and Stephen Zimmerman scored 12 points each for the Americans.
Thon Maker had 10 rebounds to help the World Selects outrebound the U.S. 40-29.
The United States, which won the event last year, leads the series 12-6.
The Nike Hoop Summit, first played in 1995, has been an annual game since 2004 between the U.S. junior national team and a select group of elite junior international players. Portland has been the Hoop Summit home since 2008.
Nine of the 22 players in this year’s Hoop Summit have signed or committed to a college, with more expected during the next month. Three of the nine are committed to Kentucky: Labissiere, World’s Tai Wynyard of New Zealand and the U.S.’s Isaiah Briscoe.
The World Selects led 98-91 with 3:22 remaining when the United States scored seven consecutive points, tying the game on two free throws by Kennard. But the World team took the lead for good when Mussini was fouled attempting a 3-pointer, and hit three free throws for a 101-98 lead.
The U.S. team, which trailed by as many as 14 points during the first half, had the final possessions, as Kennard and Arizona-bound Allonzo Trier missed shots during the game’s last three seconds.
“Whenever a game comes down to the last possession, it shows both teams were competing and how much they wanted to win,” U.S. coach Eric Flannery said. “We got down real early, and got ourselves back in the game. To have the ball in our hands with a chance to win or tie the game says a lot about their effort.”
Murray and Simmons had a huge impact for the World Selects. Murray said the experience of playing in last year’s Nike Hoop Summit made a difference.
“I kind of knew what it was all about and knew how the U.S. was going to play, very aggressive, and they did. I tried not to do too much and make the right plays,” said Murray, currently uncommitted about his college future.
The 6-foot-10 Simmons, who played for Florida’s Montverde Academy this past school year and is considered by several recruiting services as the nation’s top recruit for 2015, set a World team record with nine assists.
“This is my fifth Hoop Summit and every time we’ve had a very special player who has been selfless. I’m not surprised Ben broke the assists record. He’s such a special talent because he can take over games offensively, yet he’s willing to help his teammates be successful and takes great joy in that,” World coach Roy Rana said.
The U.S. found itself in a deep hole early, as Murray and George DePaula hit 3-pointers to lead the World Selects to a 12-0 lead. The World teamn led 25-18 after the first quarter, the difference coming with its 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.
The Americans used a 14-3 run early in the second quarter to trim what had become a 14-point deficit, and trailed 47-44 at halftime.
The U.S. took its first lead of the game early in the third quarter at 52-51 on a layup by Brandon Ingram. Malik Newman’s 3-pointer gave the World Selects a 79-77 lead heading into the fourth quarter.