PRAGUE, Czech Republic—University of Pittsburgh freshman James Robinson (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha Catholic H.S.) and Team USA captured the FIBA U19 World Championship Gold Medal with an 82-68 win over Serbia in Sunday’s title game.
The victory gave the United States its second championship at the U19 level since 2009 when Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon and former Pitt player Ashton Gibbs guided the Americans to the title in New Zealand. It marked the Americans’ fifth overall U19 World Championship and the fourth time USA won the title with a perfect 9-0 undefeated record, matching that accomplishment in 1979, 1991 and 2009.
The victory also gave Robinson his second career Gold Medal in international play. Over the series’ nine games, Robinson scored 19 points, finished with 19 assists, totaled 10 steals, committed only seven turnovers and played 127 minutes. He averaged 14.1 minutes, 2.1 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game. He also ranked second on the squad in assist:turnover ratio with a 2.71 mark.
The United States used a 13-1 fourth quarter run to win 82-68 over Serbia. Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, four rebounds and four blocks to lead a balanced offense for the Americans, as four players scored in double figures. Nigel William-Goss added 15, Rasheed Sulaimon had 12 and team captain Marcus Smart chipped in with 11.
Serbia jumped out to a 9-4 lead before Sulaimon nailed a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 USA run. Serbia countered with two 3-pointers of its own to take an 18-15 lead. At the end of the first quarter, USA took the lead back 26-22 on 3-pointers from Williams-Goss and Sulaimon. In the second quarter, USA built a 36-29 cushion, but Serbia would not go away, trailing by just two points at halftime, 40-38. A 7-0 run gave Team USA its biggest lead of the game to that point at 55-47, which Serbia would trim back to 57-51 after three quarters. The Americans then went on their game-deciding 13-1 surge to take a 70-54 lead with seven minutes left in the game.
Jovan Novak scored a game-high 21 points for Serbia, which clinched the Silver Medal for the second consecutive U19 tournament. Last summer, the Serbs lost to Lithuania in title game.
Through nine games, Team USA outscored its opponents by a 39.6 margin and outrebounded them by a plus-19.6 margin.