Fournier with 9 Points as France Crushes Egypt
In what was expected to be France’s easiest Group A game at the FIBA World Cup, the French annihilated Egypt 94-55 on Monday. Both teams were playing their third consecutive contests of the tournament. The Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier not only got his first points for the French national team, he scored 9 of them and added 4 assists, one rebound, and a steal in 19 minutes. Evan was 4-for-9 from the field but 0-of-4 on 3-pointers as the 6’6″ wing still hasn’t made a three in the tourney. Still, this game was a confidence booster.
France was already up 13-4 when Edwin Jackson checked in, officially confirming that indeed he has jumped over Evan in the shooting guard rotation. Fournier checked in at the 7:58 mark of the 2nd period with France up 29-15. Evan missed his first 2-point jumper and then got credited with a turnover where he drove to the basket but got tripped up by an Egyptian who kneed him in the thigh. Should have been a foul.
That didn’t prevent Evan from defending well and dishing as he tallied 2 assists – one of them a transition bounce pass to Charles Kahudi for an and-1 lay-up – in the second quarter. But the 21-year-old still couldn’t make a shot as he missed an open right corner 3-pointer short. Finally on his third attempt off a nice loose ball grab, Evan dribbled to the left baseline and drained a clean 2-pointer late in the second quarter. France led 49-26 at the break with Evan being a +9 on the court in eight minutes.
Fournier entered the 3rd quarter at the 5-minute mark with France up 60-28. Evan would miss another 3-pointer, this open look from the left side. All misses have been barely off so it’s not a technique issue. Evan would get a transition lay-up goaltended as he cut nicely behind Egypt’s defense. Fournier missed a 3-pointer just before the third quarter buzzer as France held a 68-36 advantage entering the final 10-minute session.
Evan started the fourth period as his teammates encouraged him to keep shooting and to find his way out of his 3-point slump. He’d convert another fastbreak lay-up as Egypt had just about given up at this point. Starters came back in at the 8:30 mark of the last quarter.
Fournier came back in at the 4:41 mark at point guard. Evan just barely didn’t connect with Kahudi on a backdoor alley oop. Fournier missed a 4th three-pointer before getting a steal and flushing home a 2-hand jam. Evan would then find Kim Tillie for two outstanding assists. Evan was able to show off his bursts of speed at PG that included a free throw line trip on a tough lefty lay-up drive. Still needs to find his 3-point shot though. Hasn’t made one this tournament yet.
France has a day off on Tuesday before continuing on Wednesday with their Group A play in Granada. They’re 2-1 in the group and would 100% guarantee progression to the Round of 16 with one more victory from their next two games. The rest and extra preparation is needed as they take on hosts Spain who have been dominating so far. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. EST and the game can be seen in the United States on ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN mobile app.
Powered by Sidelines