SEC All-Stars Fall to Japan National Team in Final Game of Tour

August 14, 1999

TOKYO, Japan - The Southeastern Conference All-Star Team fell short in the final game of the 1999 Basketball Universiade Anniversary Cup, losing to the Japan National Team 89-75 in Tokyo, Japan.

Auburn's Doc Robinson led the SEC in the loss with 15 points, while Ole Miss' Marcus Hicks poured in 14 points. Hicks netted his 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, including 1-of-1 from the three-point line, and 5-of-8 from the charity stripe. The Rebel senior also had four blocked shots. Mississippi State's Tang Hamilton added nine points for the SEC.

The SEC shot 39.1 percent from the field, including a disappointing 15.8 percent (3 of 19) from three-point range.

"To get these guys together for six practices (in Birmingham), travel over (to Japan) and play the games so rapidly definitely showed today," said SEC co-head coach Rod Barnes. "Obviously in that short of time, the wear and tear of the travel and playing every other day played a factor on us but we can't used that for an excuse. They were the more aggressive team today, especially in the first half."

Japan jumped out to an early lead and, despite a quick run by the SEC squad, gradually expanded its lead to 11 points by halftime, marking the first time in the series the SEC trailed after the first 20 minutes. The SEC squad came out of the break on fire, scoring seven straight points to close within four but Japan again pulled away, opening its lead to as many as 19 before finishing the game with a 14-point advantage.

"The difference in our play this game than in the previous four was defensively," said co-head coach John Brady. "We were not able to create points off our defense. We didn't get after loose balls as we had done in the past and we didn't rebound the ball as well."

"The thing that is positive is that we did win four games in a row although we lost this last game, " said Brady. "The team that we were able to beat four straight times is the best team Japan has. They are Japan's national team, which is in essence their Olympic team and, for our players to come over here and win four of five contests against the best Japan can offer, speaks well for our players, the schools they represent and the Southeastern Conference."

With a final record of 4-1 in the BUAC, the SEC All-Stars will enjoy day of shopping and sightseeing in Tokyo through Sunday afternoon before boarding its Delta flight at Tokyo's Narita Airport for the 12-hour journey to Atlanta. The team will disburse in Atlanta on various flights to return to their hometown or their respective college campuses.

 

 

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