EMERGING BOOMERS FINISH ON A HIGH AT WORLD UNI GAMES

EMERGING BOOMERS FINISH ON A HIGH AT WORLD UNI GAMES

The Australian Emerging Boomers have finished on a high at the 2017 World University Games, defeating Canada 101-96 to claim ninth place while winning their last five games and owning an overall record of 6-2.

Unfortunately, losses to Ukraine and Israel in the group stage relegated Australia out of the Quarter-Finals with the side left to rue what would have been after finishing with a better record than bronze medalists Latvia (5-3).

It was an exhilarating start to the game against Canada with defence not on the menu as the Emerging Boomers found themselves trailing 35-40 at the first break.

Canada got the jump on them before Xavier Cooks wrestled back the momentum with nine straight points for his side, including two three-point plays as he went on to record 20 points, six rebounds and four blocks for the game.

Dejan Vasiljevic then found the bottom of the net himself and he drained three from long distance to have 15 points by quarter-time.

It cut the deficit to five but the Emerging Boomers needed to play some defence before they got in front.

That came in the second period, holding Canada to just two points for a period of five minutes thanks to Emmett Naar (eight points, five assists) who helped control the tempo before Kyle Adnam (eight points, five boards) gave Australia their first lead on a three-pointer.

Only a couple of late baskets from the Canadians gave them the edge at half-time but a 12-2 run early in the third finally gave the Emerging Boomers some breathing room courtesy of Jack McVeigh and some more magic from Vasiljevic.

Trailing by eight, the momentum again swung Canada's way as they tied the game heading into the fourth period and the lead then changed hands seven times down the stretch.

With three minutes remaining, Vasiljevic (28 points on 9-15 shooting) gave the Aussies a two-point advantage from the charity stripe before Canada answered with a three.

However, McVeigh came up with a block (giving his side an 8-1 edge in that category,) which allowed Vasiljevic to respond again while McVeigh (14 points, two steals, two rejections) then proved his worth at the offensive end with a huge three-pointer.

That gave the Emerging Boomers a one-point lead once more and while there was time remaining for another twist in the tale, Canada came up short.

Gorjok Gak (14 points, eight rebounds) was then able to seal the contest with a put-back offensive rebound before Australia clinched the hard-fought victory with another couple of free-throws.

Box score here.

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