Aussies Defeat Lithuania, One Win from a Medal

July 14, 2013

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KAZAN, Russia - Australia outscored Lithuania 20-10 in the fourth quarter Sunday, and won its quarterfinal matchup 60-55 at the World University Games. The Emerging Boomers have clinched their best all-time finish at the tournament.

Boise State rising junior Igor Hadziomerovic was on the floor for 14 minutes racking up three rebounds, an assist and a block.

Lithuania owned the first quarter, jumping out to a 16-3 lead just over six minutes into the game. From there the Aussies chipped away. By the time the teams huddled at the first quarter break, Lithuania’s lead was 20-11.

Neither team had hit a field goal for more than three minutes until Hadziomerovic assisted on a bucket with 7:41 to play in the half. That basket started a 13-3 run for Australia, eventually forcing the game’s first tie at 25 apiece. Lithuania won a free throw contest in the last two minutes of the half to take a 28-26 advantage into the locker room.

The Boomers took their first lead of the game at 33-31 in the third quarter, a period that saw three ties and six lead changes. Lithuania used a 7-0 run in the final three minutes to take a 45-40 lead at the start of the fourth period.

Lithuania scored the first basket of the fourth, then Australia took over. The Aussies held Lithuania to one field goal for the next seven minutes and rattled off a 15-2 run. That spurt gave Australia its largest lead of the game at 55-49 with 3:28 to play. Lithuania did not go quietly. The European squad scored six-straight points and tied the game with less than a minute left.

On Australia’s ensuing possession, New Mexico forward Cameron Bairstow put the Boomers on top for good. Three free throws from Australia in the final 10 seconds provided some breathing room and the final margin for the five-point win.

The Aussies will face Serbia in the semifinals, with Canada and Russia making up the other half of the final four. Serbia is 6-0 in the tournament (one win by forfeit) and cruised to an 88-43 victory against Estonia Sunday, in its quarterfinal matchup.

The Australia versus Serbia matchup is scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. (MT), and can be seen live on ESPN3.

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