July 16, 2006
Taipei City, Taiwan – As the saying goes, defense wins championships, and it was the defense that was the star tonight as Athletes In Action downed Korea 88-74 to advance to the championship game at the 2006 William Jones Cup held at the Taipei Physical Education College Gym. Korea was 10-39 from behind the three point line, their staple, and was kept off balance offensively most of the night.
AIA maintained a slight edge throughout the first half, but was never able to put together a run that would provide separation from Korea. However, a run in the third period began to open the game up for AIA and put more pressure on Korea. In response, Korea focused on their trademark 3-point shooters, but were not able to get good looks thanks to the different defensive sets shown by the Americans.
The lead grew to as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter before Korea hit a couple of junk-time threes to trim the margin. Josh Carter of Texas A&M quietly poured in 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Tony Danridge of New Mexico added 17 points and 11 boards for the double-double. It was again a group effort as three others craked double figures in points: Christian Moody (14), Boomer Herndon (11), and Dominique Kirk (10).
Once again, the rebounding edge proved to be pivotal as AIA out rebounded Korea 44-30. Korean head coach Choon-Soo Kim said, “Today, we didn’t play like Korea, we didn’t shoot well. However, it was the inside, rebounding, that was the difference.”
Josh Carter added, “We played hard, but our rebounding helped as did our defense.”
AIA head coach Mike Jarvis commented that, “Our defense against a very good 3-point shooting team was very good. That is why we won the game..”
In the early game, top seeded Qatar was upset by 4th seeded Taiwan, so AIA will face the home team in the finals on Sunday night at 7PM.
Semi-final results (Saturday)
Kazakhstan 104, Japan 86
Philippines 69, Australia 66
Taiwan 83, Qatar 63
AIA 88, Korea 74
7th Place Game
Japan vs Australia 1PM
5th Place Game
Kazakhstan vs. Philippines 3PM
3rd Place Game
Korea vs. Qatar 5PM
AIA vs. Taiwan 7PM