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United States U-19 team rolls to 109-67 win over Canada

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After going 6-0 in the preliminary stages of the Under-19 World Championships, the United Stated took on Canada in quarterfinal action with the winner advancing to the medal round.

Canada was able to hang around for much of the first half thanks to 12 points from Florida State signee Xavier Rathan-Mayes, but the Americans would eventually take command and pull away for the 109-67 victory.

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart led seven U.S. players in double figures with 14 points, as Billy Donovan’s team once again put together a balanced outing offensively.

Once again the United States made good use of its advantage inside, scoring 62 points in the paint (making 61.4% of their two-pointers) and out-rebounding Canada 51-27 (17 offensive rebounds). Canada certainly could have used Trey Lyles, one of the top big men in the 2014 class, who missed the game due to an ankle injury.

Also reaching double figures for the United State were Michael Frazier, Aaron Gordon, Jahlil Okafor (12 points apiece), Montrezl Harrell (11 points), Elfrid Payton and Mike Tobey (ten points apiece). Okafor, who will be a senior in high school next year, led the way with eight rebounds.

Joining Rathan-Mayes in double figures for Canada were Harvard sophomore forward Agunwa Okolie (13 points) and Syracuse signee Tyler Ennis (11 points).

Next up for the United State is Lithuania, which beat China 89-59 on Friday.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: