It hasn't taken Malik Newman
long to establish himself as an elite scorer on the international basketball scene.
The 6-foot-3 guard from Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)
pumped in a game-high 21 points Wednesday to lead the United States to a 96-72 win over Argentina in qualifying round play at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Maldonado, Uruguay.
Newman – MaxPreps.com's National Sophomore of the Year for the 2012-13 season – scored 19 points Tuesday in a 99-point blowout of Mexico. He is the leading scorer in the event through two days.
Despite the 26-point final margin, Argentina made it a tough outing for USA Basketball's U16 National Team.
"It was very aggressive and physical," Newman said. "They came out like coach said they would, they fought hard, they were aggressive."
The contest included 57 combined fouls and 63 free throw attempts, making it difficult for the United States to establish a flow.
"From a coaching standpoint, we knew they were going to be that type of team – physical, hold you and do whatever they can to keep the game close and that's the only way they could," USA head coach Don Showalter said. "I thought our kids responded well at times and I thought we got a little frustrated at times with worrying about things we can't control. So, it was a good lesson for us as we move on."Thomas Bryant
of Bishop Kearney (Rochester, N.Y.)
, a 6-9 rising junior, added 13 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Diamond Stone
of Dominican (Whitefish Bay, Wis.)
, another 6-9 rising junior, was the only other American in double figures with 11 points to go along with six rebounds.
The United States continues play Thursday at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship against The Bahamas.
The tournament, featuring eight U16 national teams from the Americas zone, serves as a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship. The top four finishing nations from the FIBA Americas U16 Championship advance to the 2014 U17 Worlds.