USA Men's World University Games Team Overpowers Norway For 91-51 Win
Dishing out 29 assists on 34 made baskets, the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team (4-2) raced past Norway (2-4) for a 91-51 in the 2013 World University Games on Sunday morning at Miras Sports Complex in Kazan, Russia.
Will Sheehey (Indiana/Stuart, Fla.) led the USA with 16 points; while Cory Jefferson (Baylor/ Killeen, Texas) and Aaron White (Iowa/Strongsville, Ohio) both finished with 11 points and seven rebounds; and Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa) also reached double-figures with 10 points.
Helping the USA to score 38 fast-break points, compared to Norway’s 10, and 23 points off of 19 Norwegian turnovers were Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado/Woodland Hills, Calif.) with eight assists and nine points, Yogi Ferrell (Indiana/Indianapolis, Ind.) with seven assists and eight points and Luke Hancock (Louisville/ Roanoke, Va.) with six assists.
“When you lose two in a row and are knocked out of the medal round, it’s tough to get off the mat, and these guys showed that they were capable of that today,” said USA head coach Bob McKillop (Davidson College). “They showed it by their unselfishness and their team defense.”
The USA next faces Germany at 10 a.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia is +8 hours from EDT) on July 15, with the winner of that game moving on to play for ninth place at 3 p.m. on July 16, which is the best-possible finish for the USA after missing the medal round, Germany improved to 4-2 after topping Mongolia 101-48 in today’s 10:30 a.m. contest.
The USA’s unselfish play and 44 points-in-the-paint helped combat its 30.4 percent shooting from deep (7-23 3pt FGs) and its icy 53.3 percent shooting from the free throw line (16-30 FTs).
“The coaches said it best, we moved the ball and got easy baskets,” Sheehey said. “Our defensive pressure was better today, too, and that also leads to easy baskets.”
Norway was able to almost keep pace with the USA in the first 10 minutes of the game, due in part to the USA shooting just 35.7 percent from the field (5-14 FGs) in the first quarter and also to five U.S. turnovers. Norway cut the USA’s eight-point lead, 17-9, at 2:16 to just two points by the first intermission after closing on a 5-0 run to trail 17-15.
The USA’s shooting quickly warmed up however, and the Americans finished at 52.3 percent from the field (34-65 FGs) for the game.
While holding Norway scoreless for the first 4:23 of the second period, five U.S. scorers put up 15 points to help widen the gap to 32-15 at 5:49. A 3-pointer from Norway ended the onslaught, but it the damage had been done, and the USA headed into the halftime locker room with a 43-25 lead and control of the game’s momentum.
The red, white and blue continued to improve its advantage throughout, outscoring Norway 21-15 in the third quarter and 27-11 in the fourth to bring the game to its 91-51 final score.
With a score from Tyler Haws (BYU/Alpine, Utah) at the 9:29 mark in the fourth quarter, all 11 healthy U.S. players had scored, and a 3-pointer from Ferrell with just 1:06 remaining marked the USA’s largest lead of the game, 43 points, at 89-46.
Treveon Graham (VCU/Temple Hills, Md.) did not play due to injury.
“We started having fun again, and I think that’s important because everyone was starting to hit shots and getting open dunks,” said Alex Kirk (New Mexico/Los Alamos, N.M.). “That’s what’s fun, and that’s why you play basketball, to have fun with it. I think that kind of got the energy going, and then our bench came through. The second-set sparked that, so that was a lot of fun.”
Today’s other ninth-24th place games will see Finland (3-2) against Czech Republic (2-3) and China (1-4) versus United Arab Emirates (0-5) at 12:30 p.m.; Mexico (3-2) against South Korea (2-3) at 1 p.m.; Ukraine (1-4) will play Philippines (0-5) at 6 p.m.; and Japan (1-4) takes on Oman (0-5) at 8:30 p.m.
In the medal quarterfinals: Canada (5-0) will take on Brazil (4-1) at 6 p.m., Serbia (5-0) faces Estonia (4-1) at 6:30 p.m., Lithuania (5-0) plays Australia (4-1) at 8:30 p.m. and host Russia (5-0) will face Romania (4-1) at 9 p.m.
Assisting McKillop on the USA sideline are John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.
The USA men are currently 141-11 all-time record in World University Games play.