Aug. 17, 2007
Perth, Australia -
Game 1 vs. Perth Wildcats
Irish forward Luke Zeller (Washington, Ind.) scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds in a 134-96 loss to Perth on Thursday night (Aug. 16). It was the first of three outings for his Athletes In Action squad against the Perth Wildcats, four-time NBL champions. The contest was played at the Lakeside Recreation Center in North Lake, Perth.
The 17 points marked a personal-best for Zeller thus far on the Australian exhibition tour with AIA.
Perth was efficient on the offensive end and stingy on the defensive side of the ball as they eased their way to victory.
The first quarter was near even the entire way as neither team could open up much of a lead. Big man Ray Schafer from Oregon continued his dominance from the previous game by scoring eight first quarter points.
Perth held a one point lead after one period, but a Josh Carter (Texas A&M) three pointer gave AIA a 35-33 lead in the first minute of the second quarter. The Wildcats responded with a 10-0 run before Zeller's three-pointer.
AIA brought it to within five, but then the game started to slip away. Seven second period AIA turnovers combined with 60% first half shooting by the Wildcats gave Perth a 68-54 halftime lead.
The Wildcats came out ready to turn up the defensive pressure in the second half and put the game away. AIA managed just 35 percent from the flood and 18 points in the quarter. Perth, on the other hand, shot 59 percent from the field and hit five-of-seven three-point attempts during the third period. The fourth quarter was much the same as the Wildcats climbed to their final margin.
AIA Statistical Summary
Luke Zeller, Notre Dame -- 17 points, 4 rebounds
Josh Carter, Texas A&M -- 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Ray Schafer, Oregon -- 16 points, 6 rebounds
Brian Stamer, Colorado Christian --11 points
Wes Johnson, Iowa State -- 11 points
Whitney Robinson, Central Michigan -- 10 points
Jason Holsinger, Evansville -- 5 points, 4 assists
Game 2 vs. Perth Wildcats
Irish junior forward Luke Zeller (Washington, Ind.) scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds in the second of three games for Athletes in Action against the Perth Wildcats. AIA battled the four-time NBL champions in the 124-103 loss on Friday, Aug. 17 which was played at the Ray Owen Sports Centre in Lesmurdie.
The contest was close throughout before Perth pulled away in the fourth period. Texas A&M's Josh Carter lead the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Perth slowly built a nine-point first quarter lead by shooting 57 percent from the floor and grabbing fifve offensive rebounds. The Wildcats relied mostly on their mid-range shooting during the first twelve minutes, but erupted for six three-pointers in the second period. AIA worked the lead back down with aggressive defense and good offensive movement. Despite missing nine first-half free throws, AIA only trailed by five at the break.
In the third period, Iowa State's Wes Johnson scored nine of his 19 and helped bring the game to within two points before Perth closed the period with a run to lead by nine. Perth remained perfect at the line through three quarters, making all 16 of their attempts. The Wildcats opened the game up in the fourth quarter by knocking down eight three pointers against the varied defensive looks from AIA. In the end, the Wildcat offense was just too powerful to stop and Perth claimed the 21-point victory.
AIA coach Eric Nelson commented, "We just came with better effort today. It's never fun to lose, but we competed for four quarters and we have some things to work on for Sunday."
AIA will face the Wildcats in the final game of the three-game series on Sunday, August 19 at 2:30 p.m. at Craigie Leisure Center in Perth.
AIA Statistical Summary
Josh Carter, Texas A&M - 22 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists
Wes Johnson, Iowa State - 19 points
Michael Neimi, SMU - 17 points, 5 rebounds
Jimmy Graham, Miami - 14 points, 4 rebounds
Ray Schafer, Oregon - 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Brian Stamer, Colorado Christian - 8 points, 3 steals
Jason Holsinger, Evansville - 5 points, 9 assists
Luke Zeller, Notre Dame - 5 points, 7 rebounds