July 12, 2013
Kazan, Russia --- For Cameron Bairstow and the Australian starters, their 131-43 win over the United Arab Emirates was both a clincher, and a well-deserved break as most starters played sparingly or sat altogether. For the United States, their medal dreams ended when Canada used a strong mid-game push to lead by as many as 16 on the way to a 94-85 win that advanced Canada with a 5-0 record to the medal round.
USA Basketball will drop down into the alternate bracket and battle for ninth place. They will start by taking on Norway, the fourth place team in Pool D at midnight tonight Mountain Time. Australia will take on Pool D champion Lithuania, who went 5-0, tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time.
Bairstow played the least minutes of any of the starters for Australia (Ryan Broekhoff got the entire game off), playing just seven minutes, going 2-for-2 from the field with two points and an assist. He wasn't needed. Australia shot 72% from the field, and had 38 assists and just six turnovers as they led 34-10 at the first quarter break, 65-20 at the half, and 100-28 at the end of three.
For USA Basketball, Alex Kirk returned to action after not playing against the Australian, but he tallied just two minutes at the end of the first quarter, a stanza that saw the U.S. trail just 18-17. Canada used a big second quarter run to pull away at the half 46-36. The US was down 15 late in the third before a pair of long threes, including a half-court buzzer-beater kept the game in reach at 68-59.
The Canadians continued to pull away, outscoring the US in the paint 54-20. The game ended bizarrely with the US dribbling the final 10.6 second left in the dark after power went out in Basket Hall 1 and the game was delayed for several minutes.