Nash Scores 25 in Exhibition Win
Aug. 16, 2002
VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Canadian national men's basketball team defeated China, 94-66, at Steve's InterNASHional Shootout at GM Place in Vancouver, BC.
In an exhibition game designed to raise funds for the Steve Nash Youth League in British Columbia, Canada began their final preparation for the 2002 World Championship of Basketball for Men in Indianapolis, Ind.
The game started quick for Canada as Kevin Jobity (Toronto, ON) out-jumped Yao Ming (first overall draft pick in 2002 NBA draft by Houston Rockets) in the opening jumpball. On that first possession, Rowan Barrett (Mississauga, ON) put down a dunk that made the 11,800 on hand roar.
Canada quickly went ahead 12-2 at the 6:49 mark of the first quarter and held the lead for most of it. The first period ended with the home team ahead 34-24.
The long-time duo of Steve Nash (Victoria, BC) and Barrett teamed up for three alley-oop dunks.
Canada still held their 10-point lead at the half, 53-43.
Canada's stinginess continued in the second half with China scoring only 11 points in the third quarter and 12 in the fourth. Canada switched their defences up between man-to-man and a fullcourt press back into a zone. China could not keep up with the changes.
China played aggressive defence in the fourth quarter hitting Andrew Kwiatkowski (Cambridge, ON) and Prosper Karangwa (Montreal, QC) with both players hitting the floor hard.
But the home team did not get rattled and continued to play strong defence.
Nash led all scorers with 25 points, seven assists and three steals in 26 minutes. Barrett followed with 18 points and five assists. Kwiatkowski, Karangwa and Richard Anderson (Ottawa, ON) all contributed with 10 points.
Anderson, Jobity and Kwiatkowski all played strong against the NBA's first overall draft pick in 2002 and highly-touted Yao Ming. They limited him to17 points and five rebounds.
Canada out-rebounded China 43-32. China committed 30 turnovers compared to Canada's 16.
"I was pleased with our defence in the second half tonight," said head coach Jay Triano. "We have to play tough defence - defence builds strong teams. I was pleased with our passion."