Aug. 13, 2006
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Sydney, Australia. - The Big Ten Men's Basketball Foreign Tour team picked up its first win of the trip with a 97-89 triumph over the Sydney Kings Basketball Club in Australia on Sunday.
Both teams went back and forth before the conference squad built a 50-43 advantage heading into halftime. The Sydney Kings continued to mount several comebacks in the second half, however, the Big Ten team held on to claim the nine-point victory.
"I am really proud of these guys," said Foreign Tour head coach Tommy Amaker (Michigan). "The team bounced back after showing some jitters in their first game yesterday. They played great defense and what really made the difference in tonight's game was that this team was 22-of-28 from the free throw line, which helped us offensively."
Michigan's Lester Abram led the way for the Big Ten contingent, tallying 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field. Joining Abram in double figures was Ohio State's Ron Lewis (16 points), Indiana's Roderick Wilmont (15), Illinois' Marcus Arnold (12) and Northwestern's Tim Doyle (10). The Fighting Illini's Arnold, who was the Big Ten's leading scorer in Saturday's game against the West Sydney Razorbacks, tallied the first double-double with 12 points and a team-best 10 rebounds verses the Kings. Minnesota's Jonathan Williams followed with nine boards, while adding one block.
The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team is now 1-1 on its journey through Australia as Lewis is averaging a team-high 16 points per outing followed by Arnold's 15 points per contest. The squad departs for Brisbane, Australia on Monday for a four-day stay that includes two more games. The team's next contest is Tuesday against the Brisbane Bullets (11 a.m. local time). For Tour results, stats, photos and entertaining diaries of the student-athletes, log on to www.bigten.org.