Australia overcomes Senegal 81-68 in FIBA World Cup (updated)

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DONGGUAN, China, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A good third quarter performance helped Australia beat Senegal 81-68 in Group H of the 2019 FIBA World Cup here on Tuesday.

Just three Australian players scored double digits. Patty Mills pocketed a game-high 22 points and Joe Ingles had 17 points, including four three-pointers and 10 rebounds. Xane Dalmeida had a team-high 14 points for Senegal.

Despite a heavy 101-47 defeat by Lithuania in their opening match on September 1, Senegal took the lead in the first quarter before Australia edged ahead in the last minute. The game was very close in the second quarter and Australia narrowly led 36-33 as time ran out.

"We were very close to Australia at half-time, and we never gave up even though we lost heavily to Lithuania," said Senegal head coach Moustapha Gaye.

"Compared with the last game, I am satisfied with my players' performance today. They showed their high-level skills in offense and defense, and I believe they will play better in the next game against Canada," he added.

Mills scored 12 points in the third quarter to help Australia open a 10-point lead, which they kept until the end of the game.

"Senegal is a good team, they gave us a tough challenge in this game, but our team did a good job today. Joe [Ingles] was one of the best players, with a good performance," said Andrej Lemanis, head coach of Australia.

The third-ranked team on the tournament's official Power Rankings, Australia caused a stir by beating the USA 98-94 in a pre-tournament warm-up game, ending a run of 78 straight wins by the U.S. men's basketball team.

If Lithuania beat Canada in their next game, Australia who won over Canada 108-92 on September 1, will qualify for the round of 16 with one game in hand. Enditem

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