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Loss-uania: USA U19 Drops Exhibition

In their second pre-tournament exhibition game against Lithuania's under-19 national team, the USA Basketball fell 108 to 75. The team missed all 17 of its attempts from beyond the arc and shot just 35.6% from the field in the game. Fans will be disappointed that the youth national team didn't improve on it's cold shooting performance against Lithuania's under-20 team over the weekend.

The Lithuanians were able to connect on 40.9% of their shots including 40.9% of their attempts from three and converted 80.4% of their free-throw attempts.

James Bell started the game, but played only 14 minutes, going 2-5 from the field including a missed three-point shot for 5 points. He also added 4 rebounds, an assist and a steal. Bell was one of only three Americans who did not turn the ball over during the game.

USA's Patric Young out battles Jonas Valanciunas in exhibition play Tuesday. Credit Vytautas Mikaitis

"At the end of the first quarter we had turnovers that led to three straight 3s and that got them going, got the crowd going and they played very well from there," said coach Paul Hewitt. "We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball; we’ve got to do a better job on the boards."

Overall, however, Hewitt was optimistic about his team's performance. "I think we are improving. I do think we have time to continue to improve. I saw some good things tonight, hopefully we’ll keep moving forward," added Hewitt.

Team USA was lead on the court by Doug McDermott from Creighton, who had 15 points. UConn's Jeremy Lamb scored 13 points and Joe Jackson, who scored 13 points over the weekend, had 12 on Tuesday.

"I think this is a learning curve for us because we’ve just been together for a little over a week now and this loss is helping prepare us for what is coming up," stated Patric Young of Florida.

The American under-19s will have to find their way to the head of that learning curve soon. Preliminary round play opens on Thursday when the Americans take on Egypt at 9AM Eastern (U.S. time). Three of four teams from each group will advance to the second round, which will buy Hewitt's squad a bit more time to grow.