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July 6, 2013

U.S. cruises past Canada, into FIBA U19 semis

Marcus Smart led seven Americans in double figures Friday to lead Team USA past Canada, 109-67, and into the semifinals of the FIBA U19 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

Two victories away from claiming the gold medal, the U.S. (7-0) now turns its attention to Saturday's contest against Lithuania (6-1). Tipoff is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. and will be streamed on ESPN3.com and livebasketball.tv.

Smart, who made 5 of 9 shots, added a game-high three steals for Team USA, which shot 52.5 percent and led by as many as 43 points.

Arizona-bound forward Aaron Gordon was one of three to chip in a dozen. Gordon made all six of his field goals and pulled down five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.

Michael Frazier and Jahlil Okafor added 12 points, Montrezl Harrell scored 11 and Elfrid Payton and Mike Tobey contributed 10 apiece.

Defensively, the Americans limited Canada star guard Tyler Ennis to 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Ennis, who is headed to Syracuse, came into the contest averaging 21.3 points - the second-best mark of the tournament.

As a team, the Canadians converted 35.3 percent from the field and scored just 29 in the second half.

Looking ahead, Lithuania is coming off an 89-58 win over China. The Lithuanians are led by double-figure scorers Marius Grigonis (13.3 points) and Tomas Dimsa (11.9 points), while limiting opponents to 37.9 percent shooting.

The winner will face either Australia or Serbia for the gold medal on Sunday.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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