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Gonzaga commit Oumar Ballo powers Mali past France, into FIBA U19 World Cup title game

UPDATED: Sat., July 6, 2019, 6:55 p.m.

From staff reports

Incoming Gonzaga center Oumar Ballo scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Mali topped France 76-73 to advance to the title game of the FIBA U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece, on Saturday.

The 16-year-old, who is 6-foot-10, also added four blocks for Mali, which will face the United States in today’s championship game.

After missing the first two games of group play, Ballo has averaged 18.3 points and 13 assists in four contests. He is also shooting 54.2% from the floor and has 16 blocks.

Gonzaga sophomore guard Joel Ayayi scored eight points, dished out five assists and grabbed three rebounds for France, which will face Lithuania in today’s third-place game.

The United States routed Lithuania 102-67 in Saturday’s other semifinal game. Jalen Suggs, who is a class of 2020 target for GU, scored 15 points for the U.S. He also added six steals, four rebounds and a pair of assists.

Suggs is averaging 15.5 points, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals for the Americans. He has scored in double figures in each of his six games.

Incoming Gonzaga forward Martynas Arlauskas was held to three points and two rebounds for Lithuania.

The United States has won six U19 titles, including the 2015 event, which was also held in Greece. Mali had never advanced to the title game.

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