Croatia downs Australia 72-52 in opener and prepares for Argentina

BEIJING (AP) – Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut was held to just 10 points and sharpshooting Croatia romped to a 72-52 win over Australia in their Olympic basketball Group A opener yesterday. Croatia shot 67 percent from field goal territory, including 12 of 15 three pointers, while Australia was just 6 for 19. Nikola Prkacin (100 percent) and Marko Banic led scoring for Croatia with 16 points each, while Matthew Nielsen had 13 points for Australia and David Barlow added 12. Facing a tough Croatian defense, Australian center Bogut, the Bucks’ No 1 draft pick in 2005, had trouble getting touches all night, while the Croats’ fast passing diluted his effectiveness on defense. Both Australia, ranked ninth in the world, and 20th-ranked Croatia face defending Olympic champions Argentina next.