Ingles Hits Huge Three For Australia Against Italy
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Joe Ingles saved his best for last in Australia’s match against Italy in group play at the Tokyo Olympics.
With just under three minutes left to play and Australia leading Italy 77-73, the Utah Jazz guard found the ball on offensive rebounding from teammate Jock Landale and knocked down a three-point shot to give the Boomers an 80-73 lead.
The three was Ingles’ fourth and final deep ball of the contest, and the three points proved to be the difference in the game as Australia beat the Italian National Team 86-83.
Ingles scored 14 points on 5-11 shooting while adding five assists and four rebounds to help Australia stay undefeated in Group B.
The guard was held scoreless in the first quarter as Australia struggled against the sharpshooting Italian roster but knocked down two threes in the second quarter to help the Australian National Team trim their halftime deficit to just one.
Ingles playmaking and shooting in the second half provided the Boomers with an important spark as backcourt teammate Patty Mills struggled to shoot the ball. The San Antonio Spurs guard connected on just 6-17 shots, including 2-9 from three en route to 16 points.
Five Australian’s scored in double-digits to outpace Italy which saw Simone Fontecchio and Golden State Warriors guard Nico Mannion score 22 and 21 points respectively.
The Boomers improved to 2-0 in Group B while both Italy and Germany have a loss apiece. Fellow Jazzman Miye Oni’s Nigerian team fell to 0-2 with a loss to Germany late Tuesday night.
Australia now finds itself in a prime position to advance to the quarterfinals as one of the top two seeds in Group B.
Landale led the Boomers in scoring, adding 18 points and seven rebounds on an efficient 7-11 shooting.
Australia now faces Germany early Saturday morning with a chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the quarterfinals. Italy meanwhile will face Oni and Nigeria on Friday evening.
Through two games, Ingles is averaging 12.5 points on 42 percent shooting from behind the three-point line while handing out four assists and grabbing four rebounds in group play.