The United States overcame a Croatian comeback Saturday to advance to the finals of the FIBA U19 World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
Team USA led by 13 points at halftime before giving up the lead in the third quarter and trading baskets throughout the fourth for an eventual 81-77 victory over Croatia.
The United States will face Greece in the finals.
Kentuckians Darius Miller and Shelvin Mack were quiet in Saturday's game.
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Miller, a University of Kentucky sophomore-to-be, did not attempt a field goal in 10 minutes of play. He was 1-for-2 from the line and finished with one point, one rebound, one assist and one blocked shot.
Mack, a former Bryan Station standout, saved his only two points for an important occasion. The Butler guard hit a tough pull-up jumper in the fourth quarter to help keep the United States in front. That shot, along with four free throws and an offensive rebound by teammate Gordon Hayward, sent the Americans to their four-point win.
"It was good for us to get a close one, we haven't had too many close games so it helps us come together as a team," said Mack, who is the captain of the U.S. team. "We just stay together, take it one possession at a time. There were a lot of possessions left in the basketball game when they were making their run in the third quarter."
Mack also chipped in with four rebounds and three assists.
Hayward led the United States with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The United States has already defeated Greece once in this tournament, an 85-69 victory on Monday.
The Greeks advanced to the finals with an 84-69 victory over Australia on Saturday.
The championship game was scheduled to start Sunday at 3:30 a.m. EDT. Go to Kentucky.com for results.