Hadziomerovic and Australia Beat USA, Keep Hope Alive

July 11, 2013

KAZAN, Russia - Australia shook up the Group C standings at the World University Games Thursday, with a 93-84 victory against previously unbeaten United States. The Emerging Boomers used a dominant fourth quarter to pull into a tie with Team USA at 3-1 in pool play.

Boise State rising junior Igor Hadziomerovic scored three points in the game as he hit his only shot attempt. Hadziomerovic’s three-pointer in the second quarter knotted the game at 33 apiece with three minutes left in the half.

Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie beat the first-half buzzer with a three-pointer to give the United States a 43-40 advantage headed into the locker room. Team USA held the momentum in the first seven minutes of the third quarter. Leading 59-49 with 2:44 left in the period, the Americans looked to be on their way to a 4-0 record and adding to earlier wins by margins of 94, 43 and 18.

Instead, Australia came alive and rattled off a 23-6 run over the next six minutes to take a 72-65 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Boomers stretched the lead to nine on four occasions and never let the USA closer than four. Australia converted its free throws down the stretch and ended up claiming the final margin of nine.

The margin is important as overall point differential will serve as the tiebreaker to determine the two teams from each pool to advance to the quarterfinals. Canada leads the group at 4-0 while the Australia and United States teams are tied at 3-1. Canada and USA meet Friday, while Australia takes on United Arab Emirates.

The winner of the Canada versus USA game will automatically advance. If Canada wins, Australia will move onto the quarterfinals with a win. If the United States and Australia both win it will create a three-way tie at the top, leading to a point differential tiebreaker. Canada is currently leading that category with a differential of +149. The United States is second at +146 and Australia a distant third at +45.

In the three-way-tie scenario (with Team USA winning), a United States win by at least two points will vault them ahead of Canada and guarantee it a spot in the top two. If the United States wins by one point, it will remain behind Canada in the tiebreak and the Canadians would be guaranteed to land in the top two. Australia can earn its spot in the quarterfinals through a tiebreaker if its margin of victory against UAE plus Team USA’s margin of victory against Canada is greater than 104 points. If Canada loses by one point, the Boomers must defeat UAE by at least 102 points in order to relegate the U.S. to third place. Keep in mind, UAE lost to Canada and the United States by 94 points each.

The game featured three Mountain West student-athletes, including Hadziomerovic. New Mexico forward Cameron Bairstow led Australia during the first half, scoring 12 of the Boomers’ first 24 points as they held a 24-22 advantage just two minutes into the second quarter. Bairstow finished with 22 points and nine rebounds. Fellow Lobo Alex Kirk did not see the floor for the United States.

Creighton All-American—and 2012-13 Boise State opponent— Doug McDermott led the way for the United States with 22 points.

Australia and UAE are scheduled to tip off at midnight (MT), while USA and Canada meet at 3 a.m. (MT).

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