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USA survive Australian fight, complete three-peat of FIBA U17 World Championship titles
DUBAI (FIBA U17 World Championship) - The United States withstood a stiff challenge by Australia to prevail 99-92 in Saturday's Final and capture the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship - their third straight crown in the tournament.
In a repeat of the 2012 U17 Worlds Final, Malik Newman paced the Americans with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Jayson Tatum had 15 points and both Harry Giles and Josh Jackson scored 13 points.
Dejan Vasiljevic knocked down six three-pointers in scoring 29 points while Tom Wilson had 23 points and Isaac Humphries was saddled with foul trouble throughout the game and was held to 10 points and seven rebounds.
The game was tied 7-7 when Australia scored 10 straight points for a 17-7 lead, the last six coming on back-to-back threes from Vasiljevic.
Newman's outside shooting got the Americans back in the game and the reigning champs finally pulled back ahead 26-25 and were up 28-27 after one quarter.
However, Australia refused to go away in the second period - even after the Americans used an 8-0 run to build a 45-35 lead - and cut the deficit to 50-43 at the break.
The Americans scored nine unanswered points in the third quarter to open a 65-52 advantage in what looked like the knock-out punch. But Australia was the determined boxer who came back for more, getting within 68-63. Again, the USA pushed the lead to 74-64 after three quarters.
The Americans' advantage grew to 88-73 with five minutes left, but their opponents wouldn't stay down, going on a 9-0 run of their own to get the gap down to six points.
It was a 10-point USA lead with 1:25 remaining but Kuoat Noi and Vasiljevic both nailed three-balls to get it to within 96-91. Trailing 97-91, Wilson had three free-throws but made just one and Clark's three-point attempt in the dying seconds was blocked by Jackson to seal the deal.