Tuesday was a tough day for a pair of former Husker men’s basketball players in the 2012 London Olympics, as both Australia and Nigeria suffered losses to a pair of teams ranked among the world’s best.
Australia opened the day with an 82-70 setback to Spain, which is ranked second in the world, in Preliminary Round Group B. Aleks Maric started for Australia and grabbed two rebounds and had a steal in just over nine minutes, but was hit in the eye in the opening minutes and missed most of the first half and was held scoreless. Australia led 19-14 after the first quarter, but was out-scored 49-23 in the middle two frames, as Spain built a 21-point lead. Australia used a 10-0 run to pull within 74-64 with 2:02 left, but could not pull closer and now faces a must-win game against China Thursday at 5:15 a.m. (central). Australia is 0-2 in Group B with the top four teams in each group advancing to the quarterfinals.
For Ade Dagunduro, Nigeria was not able to duplicate the 86-80 win over Lithuania in Olympic Qualifying, falling 72-53 in Preliminary Round Group A. Dagunduro played just over three minutes, missing all three of his shots from the floor. Lithuania, ranked fifth in the world, held Nigeria to just 24 percent shooting, including 1-of-16 from 3-point range. Nigeria, now 1-1 in Group A, faces a daunting task on Thursday, taking on the gold-medal favorite United States Thursday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. (central).
Both of Thursday’s games can be seen live on DirecTV Ch. 752 and online at NBCOlympics.com.