Aug. 16, 2006
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Brisbane, Australia – The Big Ten Men’s Basketball team wrapped up the 2006 Foreign Tour on Wednesday with a 145-69 victory over the South District Spartans Basketball Club. The 145 points was the highest-scoring total in Tour history, breaking the previous mark of 141 points established in 1992 (Big Ten 141, National Select 75 on Aug. 9, 1992).
The Big Ten squad jumped out to a 27-14 lead in the first 10-minute period and did not look back. Indiana’s Roderick Wilmont and Michigan’s Lester Abram were the squad’s leading scorers against the Spartans with 22 points each. Abram was unstoppable, shooting a perfect 9-of-9 from the field, while also adding seven rebounds and two steals. Six other players reached double-figures for the Big Ten in Illinois’ Marcus Arnold (18),
Purdue’s Gordon Watt (18), Ohio State’s Ron Lewis (17) , Iowa’s Seth Gorney (12), Michigan’s Jerret Smith (11) and Minnesota’s Jonathan Williams (10). Smith also added a game-best six assists, while Arnold recorded his second double-double of the Tour with 10 rebounds. As a team, the Big Ten finished 63-95 (.663) from the floor and 11-of-18 (.611) from the free-throw line.
“It was great to finish the tour with a win,” said Foreign Tour head coach Tommy Amaker (Michigan). “Obviously, we played a very young team tonight, but our squad stayed focused and played hard from start to finish, as well as representing the conference in a first-class manner.” The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team outscored its opponents by more than 100 points per contest (112.0 to 93.8) during the four-game trip. Illinois’ Arnold became the second Fighting Illini in Tour annals to lead the squad in scoring as he poured in a team-best 71 points in four outings to average 17.8 points per game (Former teammate Roger Powell led the Big Ten Foreign Tour in 2002). Arnold tallied double-figures in all four contests, while also registering two double-double performances. Five other conference standouts averaged more than 10 points per game including Ohio State’s Lewis (16.3 ppg), Michigan’s Abram (15.3 ppg), Purdue’s Watt (13.5 ppg) and Indiana’s Wilmont (10.5 ppg). Minnesota’s Williams led the Big Ten contingent in rebounds with 9.0 boards per contest.
The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team will close out the tour by visiting the Australian Zoo on Thursday and then return to the United States on Friday. For Tour results, stats, photos and entertaining diaries of the student-athletes, log on to www.bigten.org.