AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Kentuckians Darius Miller and Shelvin Mack helped get the United States off to a winning start at the FIBA U19 World Championships on Thursday.
Miller, a University of Kentucky sophomore-to-be and former Mason County star, led the Americans with six steals, and Mack, the ex-Bryan Station standout, scored seven points in a 106-55 victory over Iran to open the tournament.
Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor scored 13 points to lead the Americans in scoring. Duke's Seth Curry had 12 points, and Mississippi's Terrico White and Northwestern's John Shurna scored 11 apiece.
Miller made both of his field-goal attempts and scored four points to go with five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in 16 minutes of play.
Mack played 18 minutes and tallied three assists, two rebounds and three steals. Miller and Mack combined for nine of the team's 16 steals.
After a tense opening that saw the United States lead by just two, 14-12, with less than three minutes remaining in the first period, Shurna scored seven points to lead a 16-1 U.S. run to finish the quarter in control, 30-13.
The Americans went on to lead by 28 at halftime and 42 at the end of the third quarter, rotating their full bench in the lopsided victory.
No player on the U.S. roster played more than 20 minutes in the 40-minute game. Eleven players played double-digit minutes.
The United States shot 55.4 percent from the field and held Iran to 34.9 percent.
The Americans will next play France in what should be their first true test.
For Iran, Mohammad Hassanzadeh scored 17 points and captain Arsalan Kazemi recorded 15 points, seven steals and four rebounds.