Dongguan, China, Sep 3: A key third quarter of 24-17 helped Australia beat Senegal 81-68 in Group H of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 here on Tuesday.
Only three players of Australia scored double digits, Patty Mills pocketed game-high 22 points and Joe Ingles had 17 points including 4 three-pointers and 10 rebounds. Xane Dalmeida had team-best 14 points for Senegal.
Facing powerhouse Australia with five NBA players, Senegal played well and led in nine minutes in the first quarter before Australia equalized in the last minute. The game was very close in the second quarter and Australia led with 36-33 as time ran out. Mills scored 12 points in the third quarter to help Australia widen the gap to 10 points with 60-50, and kept the lead to the end of the game.
Team Australia, the third-ranked team on the tournament's Power Rankings, beat the USA 98-94 in a warm-up game, ending a run of 78 straight wins by the U.S. men's basketball team. Senegal is a powerhouse in Africa, placing third in African Basketball Championships twice in 2013 and 2017.
Australia beat Canada 108-92 on September 1, and if Lithuania beat Canada in next game, Australia will qualify for the round of 16. (UNI-XINHUA)