July 16, 2006
Taipei City, Taiwan – Sophomore Luke Zeller (Washington, Ind.) scored nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Athletes In Action to the gold medal at the 2006 William Jones Cup as AIA defeated host Chinese Taipei 79-69.
The final turned out how just as it was supposed to with host Chinese Taipei team was in the finals of the 28th Jones Cup and that made for a memorable atmosphere. Fans filled any and every empty space in the Taipei Physical Education College Gym and the standing room only crowd was on their feet the entire game. In the end however, it was a near perfect effort by the Athletes in Action squad that led them to the tournament title.
AIA jumped to a 12-2 lead just four minutes into the contest and held a 24-16 advantage after the first quarter, but Taiwan used the energy from the crowd to come storming back and tie the game at 26. After a time-out to regroup, AIA quickly regained the lead and would never trail or be tied again.
AIA out rebounded Chinese Taipei 57-37 for the contest, including 24-7 on the offensive glass. AIA also hit their first 13 free throws and finished 13-14 on the night. Former New Mexico Lobo Troy DeVries recorded a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Texas A&M guard Josh Carter also had a double-double as he poured in 19 points and grabbed 14 boards. New Mexico’s Tony Danridge finished with 12 points while Dominique Kirk had nine.
“The USA played very well inside and outside,” said Taiwan head coach Yun-Kung Lee. “We got a lot done inside, and we will make some adjustments in our program based on what we learned in the Jones Cup.”
AIA head coach Mike Jarvis added, “I am grateful we won tonight. Our rebounding was the difference in allowing us to get second and sometimes fourth chance shots.”
Athletes in Action will return to the U.S. on Thursday and will bring the hardware home in their first ever trip to the Jones Cup.
Final Jones Cup Standings:
1. USA (AIA)
2. Taiwan National Team
3. Qatar National Team
5. Kazakhstan National Team
7th Place Game
Japan 89, Australia 84
5th Place Game
Kazakhstan 98, Philippines 86
3rd Place Game
Qatar 87, Korea 74
AIA 79, Taiwan 69