A day after scoring 35 points at the FIBA World Championship in Riga, Latvia, and leading the Under-19 US national team to an overtime win over Lithuania, Jeremy Lamb scored 25 more in the match-up with Croatia. Except this time, isn't wasn't enough; the Americans lost 87-85.
Now 5-1, the U.S. still has the No. 1 spot in Group F heading into the medal round quarterfinals.
Details on the Croatia game via the USA Basketball press release:
The USA U19 World Championship team had played two down to the wire games and won them both, but a third time wasn't a charm as Croatia scored five points in the game's final 50 seconds to steal an 87-85 win over the USA. The loss was the USA's first setback in the championship.
For the second consecutive game Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut/ Norcross, Ga.) scored a game best, accounting for 25 points. Patric Young (Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.) made 7-of-7 shots and finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Joe Jackson (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.) added 14 points and was the only other U.S. player to score in double figures.
US coach Paul Hewitt spoke about the loss, and looked ahead to the quarterfinals. "Congratulations to Croatia, they played, very, very well. They did a great job of spreading us out on the offensive end; they made our defense have to scramble and they shot the ball very, very well. They played with more purpose than we did and deserved to win. We did have a chance at the end, but we didn't do some of the things we needed to, especially defensively, to hold on to the win.
"But overall we are the No. 1 seed coming out of pool play. We wanted to go undefeated obviously, but I think rest right now is probably the best thing for our guys, just kind of get away from basketball, get their minds clear as we get ready for the one-and-done situation."
The U.S. team has Thursday off before the medal round begins Friday. Their opponent has yet to be determined by there's the possibility that the tournament's two gold-medal favorites -- U.S. and Lithuania -- could meet in the semifinals if both teams win their quarterfinal match-ups.