Mangok Mathiang helped guide Australia to a six point win over Turkey to advance to the playoff for ninth position at the 2015 World University Games.
The 6’10 forward scored six of his team-high 17 point and ten rebound double-double in the last two minutes of the game, ensuring the UniRoos a chance to finish in the top ten at this tournament thanks to their 73-67 win.
He was well supported by Hugh Greenwood who continued his excellent perimeter shooting by collecting 13 points (3-5 three point shooting) and Mitch Creek who gathered ten points.
Mitch Creek and Mangok Mathiang combined for Australia’s first nine points in what turned out to be a scrappy, low-scoring first period, with neither team able to gain any momentum.
The pressure from both sides resulted in many turnovers (14 combined), with Turkey ensuring that the scores were locked up at 12 going into the second quarter.
Even though Turkey matched Australia for intensity early, they were not able to cope with the UniRoos who lifted defensively in the second to help spark their offense.
The scoring was being shared around; Shaun Bruce (seven points) and Deng Deng adding five each while Hugh Greenwood and Dan Trist both chimed in with four for the quarter as the Emerging Boomers opened up a 35-19 half time lead. Holding Turkey to just seven points for the quarter while scoring 23 of their own was an outstanding effort.
Turkey however managed to turn the tide in the third despite Greenwood dropping three treys for the term and Keanu Pinder chiming in with five points. Connecting on 5-7 three-pointers, Turkey outscored the UniRoos 29-21 to close to within eight points at the final break and keep the game interesting.
The final quarter proved to be a tight one, with Turkey challenging Australia for the lead multiple times without managing to hit the lead.
Mathiang and Pinder were owning the offensive glass, creating a number of second chance opportunities to keep their side in front. Australia were in control but Turkey threatened, closing to within two points with under two minutes to play.
Mathiang stood tall for the UniRoos, scoring their last six points in the final two minutes to seal the win 73-67. Pinder arguably played his best game of the tournament with seven points and eight rebounds, while Deng also added seven points.
The major difference between the teams was Australia’s dominance on the offensive glass (23-11) and their ability to take care of the ball while also forcing Turkey into turnovers (15-24).
With the victory, Australia will complete their tournament by playing off for ninth position at 7:00pm AEST on Sunday against Korea.
4 July, defeated Chinese Taipei 93-47
5 July, lost to France 45-71
7 July, defeated Japan 73-59
8 July, defeated Finland 82-69
9 July, lost to Lithuania 67-71
10 July, Classification (9-16): defeated Turkey 73-67
12 July, Final Classification (9-10): 7:00pm AEST vs Korea