• Box Score: USA 115, Egypt 60
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LIEPAJA, Latvia — Make it three straight blowouts for the USA under-19 team. This time, though, the Americans were on the winning side.
After lopsided losses in two exhibition games, Team USA opened the preliminary round of the FIBA U19 World Championships with a 115-60 victory over Egypt on Thursday.
Creighton's Doug McDermott led the Americans for the second straight game, scoring 19 points. McDermott had 15 points and seven rebounds in a 108-75 exhibition loss to Lithuania's U19 team on Tuesday.
McDermott finished Thursday's game 8 of 11 from the field and 3 of 4 from the 3-point line. He also had six rebounds.
Joe Jackson of Memphis and Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb each added 15 points for the U.S. Illinois' Meyers Leonard turned in 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Meyers and Patric Young of Florida each tied a team record with four blocks.
“The young men focused on the things we wanted to focus on, defensively especially. I like the fact that we shared the basketball and we had a lot of guys get some good looks at the basket and make some shots,” Team USA coach Paul Hewitt said.
“I was happy with our ball movement and I thought we defended well, but in particular ball movement and we made some threes. I think any team that wins this world championship is going to have to shoot the ball well from the outside and that's usually keyed by good passing.”
The U.S. dominated from the start, opening the game on a 22-0 run. Egypt didn't score its first point until 2:55 remained in the first quarter.
Carrying a 25-5 lead into the second quarter, the Americans pushed their advantage to 32-9. Egypt answered with a 13-2 run to make it 34-22 with 6:54 remaining before halftime. Leonard scored to get the U.S. back on track, and 12 of the team's final 14 points in the quarter came on 3-pointers.
The U.S. dominated the second half, outscoring Egypt 32-15 in the third quarter and 33-16 in the fourth.
“At the beginning of the game we were really focused on rebounding, defense, pushing the ball up the floor, the things that Coach Hewitt told us before the game started to really focus and key in on,” Young said. “We really executed those things at the beginning of the game because we wanted to make a statement that we are a team, and we came here to win a gold medal.”
The U.S. owned a 57-40 advantage on the glass and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds. Jahii Carson, an Arizona State recruit, led the Americans with seven assists.
As a team, the Americans shot 56.6 percent from the field and 54.2 percent (13 of 24) from the 3-point line. In Tuesday's loss to Lithuania, the U.S. was 0 of 17 on 3s.
“I knew eventually the shots would start falling,” said Jackson, who made three of his four 3-point attempts. “We're playing with a different ball, you know it probably takes a week just to get used to shooting it, getting your fingers spaced on the different ball.”
The U.S. continues its preliminary round Friday, facing Serbia at 8 a.m. (CDT), then concludes the preliminary Saturday against China.