The Golden Star Boomers Australian men’s national basketball team have been eliminated from the 2010 FIBA World Championships after suffering an 87-58 defeat at the hands of hot shooting European power Slovenia at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey this morning.
Slovenia shot a scorching 16-of-33 (48%) from three-point range in the match to blow the Australians off the floor.
Jaka Lakovic had 19 points to lead Slovenian, while Primoz Brezec added 12 and Goran Dragic 10 as all 12 of the Slovenian players scored.
Joe Ingles and Patrick Mills equal top scored for Australia with 13 points apiece while Matt Nielsen added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Despite Slovenia being one of Europe’s top four teams, the Boomers went into the match with confidence after having gone 1-1 in games against the Slovenians in lead-up matches. A disastrous 12-0 run by the Europeans to start the game however as the Boomers missed their first 10 shots had Australia on the back foot from the start.
It took until Joe Ingles scored a two in transition with 3:24 remaining in the period for the Australians to trouble the scorers. The Boomers worked hard and had reduced the margin slightly by quarter time but still trailed 16-8 at the first break.
Any thoughts of a quick comeback by the Boomers were crushed in the second period as the Slovenians, who finished second in Group B in the preliminary round with a 4-1 record, dominated the Australians on both ends of the court. Australia was outscored 26-13 for the period, as the Europeans rained threes on the Boomers. At the half, Slovenia led 42-21 and had made eight three-pointers while Australia had failed to connect from the perimeter on all seven of their attempts. Nine first-half turnovers had also hurt the Boomers.
The poor perimeter shooting by the Boomers continued early on in the third as Australia missed another three triples. It wasn’t until David Andersen connected from outside with 7:18 left in the period to make it 48-30 in Slovenia’s favour that Australia made their first three of the game.
The Slovenian march continued unabated however and by three-quarter time the Europeans led 71-45. The Slovenians made five more three-pointers in the period and showed no signs of cooling off from outside.
Australia tried valiantly to work their way back into the game in the final period but the Slovenian offensive barrage was simply unstoppable as the Europeans ran out winners by 29-points.
Slovenia now advance to the top eight to play the winner of the match between Turkey and France later tonight while the defeat ends the Boomers’ world championship campaign, as FIBA doesn’t play classification games for teams eliminated from competition prior to the top eight.
Slovenia 87 (Jaka Lakovic 19, Primoz Brezec 12, Goran Dragic 10)
Australia 58 (Joe Ingles 13, Patrick Mills 13, Matt Nielsen 12)