Australia now 2-0 in men’s basketball, tops Italy 86-83

Jul 27, 2021, 3:03 PM | Updated: Jul 28, 2021, 4:23 am

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Jock Landale scored 18 points and Australia took command of the Group B standings with a 86-83 win over Italy at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.

Patty Mills scored 16 points and Nic Kay scored 15 on 6-for-7 shooting for Australia (2-0), which outrebounded Italy 44-30. Aron Baynes and Joe Ingles each finished with 14 points for the Boomers.

Simone Fontecchio led all scorers with 22 points for Italy (1-1). Nico Mannion scored 21 for Italy and Achille Polonara had 12.

Italy had gone scoreless for more than four minutes and trailed by eight when Fontecchio cut the lead in half on one possession, draining a 3-pointer, getting fouled and making the free throw with 3:48 remaining.

But the rebounding issue was a big problem for Italy throughout and led to a big basket by Ingles about a minute later. Mills missed a 3-pointer, the Italians couldn’t control the rebound and the ball got slapped out to Ingles — who made a 3-pointer of his own for an 80-73 lead.

Mannion scored on a drive with about a minute left to get Italy within three, but Mills answered with a score on the next Australia possession and the Boomers would hang on from there.

Australia is the lone unbeaten team left in Group B. Group play closes Saturday with Italy facing Nigeria (0-2) and Australia playing Germany (1-1).

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